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
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.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing