"Friederici's edge is that he combines beautiful writing with training as a field biologist. He comes up with a book that is both touching and intellectually engaging, a book that appeals to both the heart and the head."
The essays honor our lost creatures and places, emphasizing the importance of history, memory, and consciousness. The author describes the varying shades and textures of a clay bluff near his childhood home, relating the gradual erosion and recession of this Ice Age-old landform. A description of spirogyra algae blooms on Lake Michigan merges with a discussion of the lake's once abundant native mussels and the imported zebra mussels that are threatening their existence. From recorded memories, Friederici re-creates the sight of the now extinct passenger pigeon. Though awareness of the destruction of the landscape and its creatures is never far from the wonders presented here, The Suburban Wild connects the tracks of wildlife and traces of our changing landscape with our own path through the world. The book explores how history—whether natural or cultural, collective or personal—shapes a landscape, and how human memory shapes that history. At heart, it seeks to forge a link between the world outside our windows and the one inside.
List price: $29.95
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