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If You Like Alan Cutler
You'll Like...
*Timothy Ferris
*Stephen Hawking
*James Gleick
*Simon Winchester
Meet the Writers

Image of 
									Alan CutlerAlan Cutler
In the bestselling tradition of Dava Sobel's Longitude, geologist Alan Cutler burst onto the literary nonfiction scene with The Seashell on the Mountaintop -- the tale of a 17th-century scientist-turned-priest who forever changed our understanding of the earth. An aficionado of jazz music and Joseph Heller, Cutler himself turns out to be as multilayered as his subject matter.

* Read the interview

Fact File

Alan Cutler
Current Home:
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Date of Birth:
February 24, 1954
Place of Birth:
Bethesda, Maryland
B.A., Carleton College, 1975; M.S., University of Rochester, 1977; Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1991

Discover Great New Writers

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								The Seashell on the Mountaintop: A Story of Science, Sainthood, and the Humble Genius Who Discovered a New History of the Earth, Author: 
								Alan Cutler.

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The Seashell on the Mountaintop: A Story of Science, Sainthood, and the Humble Genius Who Discovered a New History of the Earth
by Alan Cutler
"Cutler's book is marvelous for making one think about what qualifies as an explanation, and for exploring the endless debates that mix strands of partial knowledge with the need to reconcile religious testaments," reports The New York Times. "Both the pious and the impious should find much to ponder in Cutler's account of Steno's times and the fate of his ideas." Our editors agreed, choosing The Seashell on the Mountaintop as a Summer 2003 Discover Great New Writers pick.

*  Read an excerpt

Scientific Curiosity

"I’ve never been able to answer the question 'How did you become interested in science?' " Cutler tells us in our exclusive interview. "I’m tempted to turn the question around: How do people become uninterested in science? I figure that for most people the curiosity is still there somewhere, even if its been dormant for years. My hope in writing about science is to connect with that curiosity and reawaken it if I can."

An Author's Inspiration

Favorite Writers and Reads

Book Cover Image. Title: 
								The Curve of Binding Energy, Author: 
								John A. McPhee.

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The Curve of Binding Energy
by John A. McPhee
"When McPhee began to write about my own field, geology, I became hooked," recalls Cutler in our interview. "I saw that writing about science and about the various kinds of people involved in it could be as intellectually satisfying as science itself. I knew it was something I wanted to do."

*Meet John McPhee
Book Cover Image. Title: 
								Catch-22, Author: 
								Joseph Heller.

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by Joseph Heller
Cutler also shared some of his favorite fiction with us. "In high school, I was bowled over by Joseph Heller’s Catch-22, he reflects. "Later it was V. S. Naipaul’s A House for Mr. Biswas." Read our entire interview with Cutler to learn more about his favorite books and writers.

*Read our interview with Cutler
Photo by Amy Cutler