Synopses & Reviews
Updated with a new introduction from Robin Wall Kimmerer, the special edition of Braiding Sweetgrass
, reissued in honor of the fortieth anniversary of Milkweed Editions, celebrates the book as an object of meaning that will last the ages. Beautifully bound in stamped linen cloth with a bookmark ribbon and a deckled edge, this edition features five brilliantly colored illustrations by artist Nate Christopherson. In increasingly dark times, we honor the experience that more than 350,000 readers in North America have cherished about the book — gentle, simple, tactile, beautiful, even sacred — and offer an edition that will inspire readers to gift it again and again, spreading the word about scientific knowledge, indigenous wisdom, and the teachings of plants.
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on "a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise" (Elizabeth Gilbert).
Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings — asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass — offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.
"[Kimmerer] draws on her own heritage...pairing science with Indigenous principles and storytelling to advocate for a renewed connection between human beings and nature." Outside
"Robin Wall Kimmerer has written an extraordinary book, showing how the factual, objective approach of science can be enriched by the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people. It is the way she captures beauty that I love the most — the images of giant cedars and wild strawberries, a forest in the rain and a meadow of fragrant sweetgrass will stay with you long after you read the last page." Jane Goodall
"With deep compassion and graceful prose, Robin Wall Kimmerer encourages readers to consider the ways that our lives and language weave through the natural world." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. She lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.