Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

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Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature

About the Author:

David Quammen is the author of a dozen fiction and nonfiction books, including Blood Line and The Song of the Dodo. Spillover, his most recent book, was shortlisted for several major awards. A three-time National Magazine Award winner, he is a contributing writer for National Geographic and has written also for Harper’s, Outside, Esquire, The Atlantic, Powder, and Rolling Stone. He travels widely on assignment, usually to jungles, mountains, remote islands and swamps.

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By David Quammen


“Lively writing about science and nature depends less on the offering of good answers, I think, than on the offering of good questions,” said David Quammen in the original introduction to Natural Acts. For more than two decades, he has stuck to that credo.


In this updated version of his first essay collection, Quammen’s lively curiosity leads him from New Mexico to Romania, from the Congo to the Amazon, asking questions about mosquitoes (what are their redeeming merits?), dinosaurs (how did they change the life of a dyslexic Vietnam vet?), and cloning (can it save endangered species?). This expanded edition returns to print Quammen’s best-loved “Natural Acts” columns, which first appeared in Outside magazine in the early 1980s, and includes recent pieces such as “Planet of Weeds,” an influential Harper’s cover story. The new Natural Acts is an eye-opening journey that will please both Quammen fans and newcomers to his work.

  • Paperback
  • 5 1/2" x 9/10" x 8 1/3"
  • 352 pages
  • W. W. Norton & Company, 2009
  • ISBN-10: 0393333604
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393333602


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