the web site of Austin-based writer Eileen Mcginnis.


a blog about caregivers + creators throughout history.


Interview with Science Writer Juli Berwald

My interview with Dr. Juli Berwald, author of Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone, is now up on Literary Mama! We talk about the intersections of her writing and parenting lives, along with the ways that having children (and all the Stuff they seem to require) can challenge one’s environmental commitments.

A journey to the past inspired this conversation with Berwald, a local Austin science writer. I was researching a blog post about the environmentalist Rachel Carson when I remembered that Dr. Berwald, like Carson, had trained as a marine biologist. Like Carson (and perhaps like every other marine biologist!), she’d had a formative research experience at Woods Hole. And like Carson, her work as a caregiver sometimes clashes with, but often enriches, her work as a writer and environmentalist.

Carson approached the natural world from an ecological perspective. She traced the networks of relationship that bind us — our health, our survival — to the fate of this planet and its inhabitants.

So, it was rather fitting that reading about Carson prompted me to reach out to Berwald, to explore the network of writers and parents closer to home.

The Long Game: Hunting Art Monsters with the Writer Ursula K. Le Guin

Guest Post! A Classicist's Perspective on Parenting