Read An Obsession With Butterflies: Our Long Love Affair With A Singular Insect by Sharman Apt Russell Free Online
Book Title: An Obsession With Butterflies: Our Long Love Affair With A Singular Insect|
ISBN 13: 9780738206998
The author of the book: Sharman Apt Russell
Edition: Basic Books
Date of issue: May 7th 2003
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 386 KB
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Reader ratings: 5.7
Read full description of the books:
Sharman Apt Russell again blends her lush voice and keen scientific eye in this marvelous book about butterflies. From Hindu mythology to Aztec sacrifices, butterflies have served as a metaphor for resurrection and transformation. Even during World War II, children in a Polish death camp scratched hundreds of butterflies onto the walls of their barracks. But as Russell points out in this rich and lyrical meditation, butterflies are above all objects of obsession. From the beastly horned caterpillar, whose blood helps it count time, to the peacock butterfly, with wings that hiss like a snake, Russell traces the butterflies through their life cycles, exploring the creatures' own obsessions with eating, mating, and migrating. In this way, she reveals the logic behind our endless fascination with butterflies as well as the driving passion of such legendary collectors as the tragic Eleanor Glanville, whose children declared her mad because of her compulsive butterfly collecting, and the brilliant Henry Walter Bates, whose collections from the Amazon in 1858 helped develop his theory of mimicry in nature. Russell also takes us inside some of the world's most prestigious natural history museums, where scientists painstakingly catalogue and categorize new species of Lepidoptera, hoping to shed light on insect genetics and evolution. A luminous journey through an exotic world of obsession and strange beauty, this is a book to be treasured by anyone who's ever watched a butterfly mid-flight and thought, as Russell has, "I've entered another dimension."
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Read information about the authorI am pleased to be considered a nature and science writer and excited that my recent Diary of a Citizen Scientist was awarded the WILLA Award in Nonfiction, as well as the 2016 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing. The John Burroughs Medal was first given in 1926 and recipients include writers like Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Barry Lopez, John McPhee, and many others. To be in such a list!
Essentially I write about whatever interests me and seems important--living in place, archaeology, flowers, butterflies, hunger, Cabeza de Vaca, and pantheism.
My recent fiction is the eco sci-fi Knocking on Heaven's Door (Skyhorse/Yucca Publishing, 2016), which won the Arizona Authors Association Award for Fiction and the New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Science Fiction. In 2015, my young adult historical fantasy Teresa of the New World (Skyhorse/Yucca Publishing, 2015) was also released, a story set during the plagues of the sixteenth-century American Southwest, also an Arizona Authors Association Award for Children's Literature and finalist for the WILLA Award and New Mexico/Arizona Book Award.
I like this range of subject matter. I believe in this braid of myth and science, celebration and apocalypse. For more information on all that, you can Like my Facebook author page Sharman Apt Russell or sign up for my newsletter at www.sharmanaptrussell.com.
A little bit of bio:
Raised in the suburbs of Phoenix, Arizona, in 1981 I settled in southern New Mexico as a "back to the lander" and have stayed there ever since. I am a longtime professor in the Humanities Department at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, as well as an associate faculty at Antioch University in Los Angeles. I received my MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana and my B.S. in Conservation and Natural Resources from the University of California, Berkeley.
My essays and short stories have been widely published and anthologized. My collections of essays Songs of the Fluteplayer: Seasons of Life in the Southwest (Addison-Wesley, 1991; reprinted by University of Nebraska Press, 2000) won the 1992 Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award and New Mexico Zia Award and recounts my early years in rural New Mexico. Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist was a New Mexico Book Award finalist and one of Booklists' top ten religious books of 2008.
Hunger: An Unnatural History (Basic Books, 2005) was the result of a Rockefeller Fellowship at Bellagio, Italy, and An Obsession with Butterflies: Our Long Love Affair with a Singular Insect (Perseus Books, 2003) was a pick of independent booksellers in the Summer 2003 Book Sense 76. Anatomy of a Rose: Exploring the Secret Life of Flowers has been translated into Korean, Chinese, Swedish, German, Spanish, and Portuguese, with other books also translated into Russian, Turkish, Polish, and Italian. Other awards are a Pushcart Prize, the Henry Joseph Jackson Award, and the Writers at Work Award.
I write fiction as well as nonfiction. The Last Matriarch (University of New Mexico Press, 2000) is a novel about Paleolithic life in New Mexico some 11,000 years ago. The eco-sci-fi Knocking on Heaven's Door also explores a Paleoterrific life 250 years in the future. The Humpbacked Fluteplayer (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1994) is a fantasy for ages 8–12 and the recent Teresa of the New World (Skyhorse Publishing, 2015) is for ages 10 and up. I love and admire children's literature and was thrice a judge for the PEN Best Children's Book.