From the Publisher
"A celebration of compassion . . . Women are opening new ways of communicating with and understanding the animal world."
The Seattle Times
"IN THIS GROUNDBREAKING BOOK IS FOUND THE COMFORT OF READING OUR OWN HEARTS, OF FINDING OUR OWN FAMILY WITHIN THE VAST UNKNOWN OF OUR EARTHLY HOME."
"A SPLENDID, MULTIHUED COLLECTION . . . THESE ARE, INDEED, STORIES OF AN INTIMATE NATURE: SENSUOUS, UNSPARING, CAREFULLY MULLED, RAZOR SHARP."
"A PHENOMENALLY BEAUTIFUL BOOK."
The Woman's Journal
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ranging from Native American folktales to scientific field observations, this book's stories, essays and poems (about 60% of which are original) by women about animals encompass everything from accounts of standoffs with wild bears to memoirs of personal relationships with pets. The editors note that, today, female researchers of animals abound (about 50% of primatologists are women, for example) and contend that these women's observations reveal a "new understanding," an approach and viewpoint toward animals that is different from those of their male counterparts. Seemingly less hindered by an assumption of the naturalness of male dominance and aggression, the women represented here often observe nuances in animal relationships that indicate cooperation, communication, nonprocreative sexuality and "co-dominance" or "mild and unobnoxious" female dominance. Generally, these writers (including Jane Goodall, Ursula K. Le Guin, Barbara Kingsolver, Alice Walker and the late Dian Fossey, among many others) seem more interested in nurturing, leaving alone, understanding, learning from and being healed by animals. Reading their fascinating accounts of close encounters with whales, dolphins, orangutans, bears, wolves, elephants, chimpanzees, birds and horses can, in the editors' words, help begin to "return us to a sacred relationship with the natural world."
This book brings together stories, poems, essays, and meditations by the editors and more than 70 other prominent female nature writers and field scientists, including Gretel Ehrlich, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Terry Tempest Williams, to show how women are reestablishing their relationship with animals on a basis of respect and empathy. Wildlife researchers like Jane Goodall or Cynthia Moss integrate compassion and intuition with the data they report. Native American women explore the wisdom of tribal elders for lessons on sharing the earth with animals. Women who have nurtured or trained individual animals recount, sometimes humorously, how they learned to communicate across the species barrier. All the contributors celebrate animals as our peers on this planet; many also warn against the loneliness and silence of the wasteland we are creating as we push ever more species to the brink of extinction. This collection should appeal to young adults as well as general adult readers. Recommended for academic and public libraries.Joan S. Elbers, formerly Montgomery Coll., Rockville, Md.