Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

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Overview

In This We Are Native couples a passionate argument for saving wilderness with a breathtaking memoir of love and loss and rebirth. Smith unflinchingly tells of her young husband's final year (his death left her with four sons to raise alone); of her father's final months and days, decades later, and the familiar chasm of death's approach; and of mourning the beloved landscape she has chosen as home, Montana's Blackfoot River Valley, with its unsurpassable beauty and unbearable ...
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Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

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Overview

In This We Are Native couples a passionate argument for saving wilderness with a breathtaking memoir of love and loss and rebirth. Smith unflinchingly tells of her young husband's final year (his death left her with four sons to raise alone); of her father's final months and days, decades later, and the familiar chasm of death's approach; and of mourning the beloved landscape she has chosen as home, Montana's Blackfoot River Valley, with its unsurpassable beauty and unbearable fragility, when it is brutally clear-cut by big lumber.

But it is Smith's gift that In This We Are Native is a glorious celebration of life, transcending grief in language exacting and unsentimental. "Here is a woman to admire and love . . ." Annie Dillard wrote of Homestead. In a voice clear and true, Smith regales the joys of huckleberry gathering; the stealth of the mountain lion; the rejuvenation in an icy mountain river; and the immense satisfaction of intimacy with wildlands. She rejoices in the preciousness of lovers and family; the deep satisfaction of growing old in a place you love; and the pleasures of adventure abroad.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Quammen's collection of accessible science writing, much of which was originally published in Outside magazine, looks at subjects ranging from sex among the aphids to boredom among the crows. Mar.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393058055
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/17/2008
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 806,504
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

David Quammen is the author of The Song of the Dodo, among other books. He has been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and is the recipient of a John Burroughs Medal and the National Magazine Award. He lives in Bozeman, Montana.

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Table of Contents

New, Retrospective Introduction: Learning Curve (2007)     7
Old, Ingenuous Introduction: An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles (1985)     13
All God's Vermin
Sympathy for the Devil (1981)     21
Has Success Spoiled the Crow? (1983)     27
The Widow Knows (1982)     32
The Troubled Gaze of the Octopus (1984)     37
Avatars of the Soul in Malaya (1984)     43
Rumors of a Snake (1984)     48
Wool of Bat (1982)     54
Prophets and Pariahs
The Excavation of Jack Horner (1984)     61
The Lives of Eugene Marais (1981)     72
The Man with the Metal Nose (1983)     79
Animal Rights and Beyond (1984)     85
Alias Benowitz Shoe Repair (1983)     91
The Tree People (1984)     97
Eloquent Practices, Natural Acts
Love's Martyrs (1983)     105
A Deathly Chill (1983)     111
Is Sex Necessary? (1982)     117
Desert Sanitaire (1983)     123
Jeremy Bentham, the Pieta, and a Precious Few Grayling (1982)     130
Yin and Yang in the Tularosa Basin (1985)     144
After Thoughts
Planet of Weeds (1998)     161
The River Jumps Over the Mountain (2002)     189
ThePost-Communist Wolf (2000)     209
The Megatransect (2000-2001)     228
A Passion for Order (2007)     279
Citizen Wiley (2006)     289
Clone Your Troubles Away (2005)     296
Author's Note     321
Partial Sources     323
Index     339
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Customer Reviews

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( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 10 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sidelong, All along

    Quammen's approach to science, while not at all distrusting, does not take anything for granted. This refreshing mixture of well-researched science and personal, emotional engagement makes for an enjoyable read. You will learn a few things as well.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    Entertaining,funny,educational

    Read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted December 14, 2009

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