FARMINGTON – Naturalist-writer Bernd Heinrich will present a reading and book signing of ‘Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death’ at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 19 at DDG Booksellers in downtown Farmington.
From one of the finest naturalist-writers of our time comes a fascinating investigation of Nature’s inspiring death-to-life cycle. When a good friend with a severe illness wrote, asking if he might have his “green burial” at Bernd Heinrich’s hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist to investigate a subject that had long fascinated him. How exactly does the animal world deal with the flip side of the life cycle? And what lessons, ecological and spiritual, can be gleaned from a close look at how the animal world renews itself?
Heinrich focuses his wholly original gaze on the fascinating doings of creatures most of us would otherwise turn away from—field mouse burials conducted by carrion beetles; the communication strategies of ravens, “the premier northern undertakers”; and the “inadvertent teamwork” among wolves and large cats, foxes and weasels, bald eagles and nuthatches in the cold-weather dispersal of prey. Heinrich reveals, too, how and where humans still play our ancient and important role as scavengers, thereby turning—not dust to dust—but life to life.
Praise For Life Everlasting:
“This engaging and thoughtful book makes the case that this truth is not only scientifically relevant but personally, and spiritually, too: by looking to nature, humans can ‘transcend individual deaths,’ and find a deeper meaning in our earthly existence.” –Publishers Weekly
“If it has not been clear to readers by now, this book confirms that Bernd Heinrich is one of the finest naturalists of our time. Life Everlasting shines with the authenticity and originality that are unique to a life devoted to natural history in the field.” –Edward O. Wilson, author of The Future of Life and The Social Conquest of Earth
Praise for Bernd Heinrich:
“Bernd Heinrich’s books open my eyes and help me see the wonder of the natural world…I love the fascinating details of his drawings, the lyricism of his observations, the way he unveils not only the physical workings of nature but the stories and dramas within it.”
—Amy Tan, bestselling author of The Bonesetter’s Daughter and The Joy Luck Club
“This lovely book, meticulously etched and based on impassioned but exacting scientific research, illustrate why Bernd Heinrich is generally regarded as the most truly Thoreauvian of modern natural history writers.”
—Edward O. Wilson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of On Human Nature
“[Heinrich] is an artful storyteller, crafting his explorations into nature as tight narratives…As with the author’s Winter World (2003), Heinrich presents natural science at its engaging best.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
About The Author:
BERND HEINRICH is the author of numerous award-winning books, including the bestselling Winter World, Mind of the Raven, and Why We Run, and has received countless honors for his scientific work. He also writes for Scientific American, Outside, American Scientist, and Audubon, and has written book reviews and op-eds for the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He studied at the University of Maine and UCLA, and is professor emeritus of biology at the University of Vermont. Heinrich divides his time between Vermont and the forests of western Maine.
A gifted writer and astoundingly curious biologist and naturalist, Heinrich has produced a stunning collection of books broaching an impressive array of topics. Heinrich’s writing engages his readers and invites them to share in his fascination with the natural world—a world with which he is becoming increasingly familiar, from his remarkably thorough and compelling studies of how flying squirrels survive the winter (Winter World) or how woodpeckers perform their mating rituals in the summer (Summer World). The New York Times Book Review writes, “Heinrich combines his keen scientific eye with the soul of a poet,” and The Washington Post Nook World says, “He richly deserves comparisons with Thoreau.”
This book is truly outstanding, even with a lifetime of reading Bernt Heinrich’s books. Fascinating, beautiful, astounding, remarkable for its charity. If I was in Maine this week I would be there buying a second copy to give to a friend.