Outstanding Boston Globe Review of Lyanda Lynn Haupt's Latest

October 2, 2013

The Urban Bestiary: Encountering the Everyday Wild by Lyanda Lynn Haupt (Little, Brown, 2013) scored a great review from the Boston Globe. Here is a snippet from the full review:


The book is an eloquent natural history of urban wildlife, and an insightful rumination on how the human animal has/should/might relate to what Haupt calls the “new nature.” “[T]he romantic vision of nature as separate from human activity,” she writes, “must be replaced by the realistic sense that all of nature, no matter how remote, is affected by what we do and how we live.”

While this perspective is a recent shift in nature writing, it is not new. Many writers (David Gessner, Bill McKibben, Sandra Steingraber, etc.) and many journals (Orion, Environment, High Country News, etc.) have been defining this new nature for at least a decade. And Haupt makes a significant contribution to that conversation.

Rather than attempting to discover pockets of “pure” wilderness in remote locales, she instead recovers the wilderness in her own backyard. This is evident in the species of mammals that she writes about: raccoons, moles, squirrels, rats, opossums, and coyotes. The birds are equally ordinary: starlings, sparrows, pigeons, hawks, owls, crows, and the species that she raises — chickens.

Self-described as an “urban naturalist,” Haupt shares her observations from her Seattle home in a personal and engaging voice that moves seamlessly between backyard anecdotes and analysis of their ecological implications.




Posted by waleslit on October 2, 2013

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