SCIENCES

American Birds: A Literary Companion

Library of America. Mar. 2020. 350p. ed. by ed. by Terry Tempest Williams & Andrew Rubenfeld. index. ISBN 9781598536553. $24.95. NAT HIST
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In this wide-ranging anthology, Williams (The Hour of Land) and Rubenfeld (former president, Linnaean Society of New York) draw on natural history and literature to explore how writers have been informed and influenced by birds from the early 19th century to modern times. To achieve this goal, the editors have selected the writings of 75 authors, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, John James Audubon, Emily Dickinson, Rachel Carson, and John Muir. Earlier selections favor prose excerpts while later ones feature poetry. Selections were made in part to represent a wide variety of bird species, though ravens are significantly featured throughout.
VERDICT An enjoyable anthology for naturalists, especially birders, and those who enjoy literature.

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