David Quammen's column, "Natural Acts," ran for fifteen years in Outside
magazine; his stories, profiles, and essays have appeared in magazines
ranging from Rolling Stone to Powder. Wild Thoughts from
Wild Places collects twenty-three of the most memorable pieces under
one cover. In this "sampler" (as he calls it in the Introduction), the
winner of numerous awards for excellence in writing paddles with professional
kayakers in southern Chile's whitewater, examines "superpigeons" in the
concrete valleys of Manhattan, finds himself snowbound with ICBM launch
officers, follows a lion-hunting expedition through Montana, and reminds
us why we should all live and die so well as Edward Abbey and that's
just the start. Wild Thoughts serves as a perfect introduction
to Quammen's writing, a tantalizing blend of sport and science, nature
and invading populations.
Synopses & Reviews
In Wild Thoughts from Wild Places,
award-winning journalist David Quammen reminds us why he has become one of our most beloved science and nature writers.
This collection of twenty-three of Quammen's most intriguing, most exciting, most memorable pieces takes us to meet kayakers on the Futaleufu River of southern Chile, where Quammen describes how it feels to travel in fast company and flail for survival in the river's maw. We are introduced to the commerce in pearls (and black-market parrots) in the Aru Islands of eastern Indonesia. Quammen even finds wildness in smog-choked Los Angeles -- embodied in an elusive population of urban coyotes, too stubborn and too clever to surrender to the sprawl of civilization.
With humor and intelligence, David Quammen's Wild Thoughts from Wild Places also reminds us that humans are just one of the many species on earth with motivations, goals, quirks, and eccentricities. Expect to be entertained and moved on this journey through the wilds of science and nature.
James Gorman The New York Times Book Review Quammen has a wide range of knowledge, an agile pen and a generous heart.
Lisa Shea Elle So thrilling to read is science writer David Quammen's essay collection that you actually experience moments of believing you have been transported to some of the ferocious or fairy-tale-like locales he reports on....Quammen is no ordinary writer. He is simply astonishing, one of that rare class of writer gifted with verve, ingenuity, humor, guts, and great heart.
A two-time winner of the "National Magazine" Award takes readers from the central Amazon to the streets of New York to explore scientific facts, ideas, and wonders.
About the Author
David Quammen has been awarded a Lannan Literary Award for nonfiction and an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters for his novels, stories, and essays. He is a two-time winner of the National Magazine Award for science essays and other work in Outside magazine. He is the author of several books, including The Song of the Dodo. Quammen lives in Montana.
Table of Contents
I. THE RIVER
Synecdoche and the Trout
Time and Tide on the Ocoee River
Grabbing the Loop
II. THE CITY
The White Tigers of Cincinnati
To Live and Die in L.A.
Superdove on 46th Street
Before the Fall
III. THE MOUNTAINS
The Keys to Kingdom Come
Karl's Sense of Snow
The Trees Cry Out on Currawong Moor
The Big Turn
Eat of This Flesh
IV. THE HEART
The Swallow That Hibernates Underwater
Trinket from Aru
Bagpipes for Ed
Point of Attachment
Voice Part for a Duet
Love in the Age of Relativity
Strawberries Under Ice
Notes and Provenance