"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."
"These essays break our hearts with visions of what is gone, even as they encourage us to celebrate the many treasures that remain."
"Celebrating the wildness that pervades the patches between roads, buildings and parking lots in urban America, The Suburban Wild addresses a question that gains increasing importance as more and more of the world converts to concrete jungle: How does wildness adapt to survive and thrive in a human-dominated world?"
—E: The Environmental Magazine
"[Friederici] does a superb job of blending natural history, evocative description, and environmental ethics."
"[Friederici] realizes that his sense of loss over the destruction of the wilderness (so eloquently expressed) is felt by many, a pervasive sorrow with profound implications."
"[Friederici] enables readers to recognize the beauty and mystery of the most ordinary surroundings . . . and he makes the leap from the deeply personal to the universal as gracefully as a green heron poised in perfect stillness on a dead tree will suddenly take to the sky. . . . The Suburban Wild is close to poetry in its lyrical compression and imagery."
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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