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Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses Paperback – Illustrated, March 1 2003
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It takes a certain kind of courage and passion to write an entire book on mosses . . . Kimmerer admirably rises to the challenge in her first book, Gathering Moss, opening up a world of rich surprises in the process. What we learn about mosses is breathtaking. ― Orion
An interesting account, both personal and exact, of an area of the vegetable kingdom that I often do not even notice . . . [a] passionate emphasis on something often most successfully appreciated by viewing through a microscope. -- Jamaica Kincaid ― The New York Times Book Review
Bryologist Robin Wall Kimmerer may well be the next Annie Dillard. She is a wonderful wordsmith as well as a scientist, teacher, mother, and daughter of the Potawatomi tribe. Kimmerer brings all these levels of perception to the miniature landscapes she describes in this collection of essays. ― The Olympian
Something I took for granted suddenly has come alive, because I have been given its story. After reading this book, I took a magnifying glass outside and pored over tree trunks. I have seen Robin Kimmerer's miniature landscape for myself. Yet, this is so much more than a book about mosses. This is a Native American woman speaking. This is a mother's story. This is science revealed through the human psyche. Robin Kimmerer is a scientist who combines empiricism with all other forms of knowing. Hers is a spectacularly different view of the world, and her true voice needs to be heard. -- Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood and Wild Card Quilt: Taking a Chance on Home
About the Author
- Publisher : Oregon State University Press; Illustrated edition (March 1 2003)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0870714996
- ISBN-13 : 978-0870714993
- Item weight : 295 g
- Dimensions : 14.99 x 1.52 x 22.61 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Hours spent plodding across sphagnum bogs, moseying around white deer droppings or looking for moss sperm sacs under the microscope, these are the places where the exceedingly rare Kimmerer bird makes her living and, indeed, her life. Chapters read with a mixture of reverence and academic expertise. Underpinning the writing is an impassioned plea to us all to make the right choices between mere survival or a full-blown appreciation of the interconnectedness of life-forms. For Kimmerer, observation is certainly key, a refusal to possess, relocate or interfere with the centuries’-old patterns of growth that go into the making of a moss bed. But it goes further, at least in this book. Research takes on a quality of life-endangering innovation, a determination to resolve how, for example, moss stratification works on a rocky riverbank. Bryologists are brave indeed.
There is a freshness to Kimmerer's writing, an airiness that makes you want to breathe deep lungfuls and feel the springiness or the spikiness or the coarseness of mosses. Species are finely differentiated, each with very particular qualities, and real enjoyment is to be had learning about the reproductive habits of sporophytes, or the green thread, the protonema, that spreads its webs over moist ground.
Kimmerer loves her subject and uses it to shape meanings to the craft of living with daughters and neighbours. Rooted in her past, she sees the sacredness of natural things left to connect in their proper habitat. Above all, this is a book to learn about the minutiae of the natural world and also about the life and mind of a woman driven by an unfettered passion to watch, study and just let things be.
I am noticing moss everywhere now and appreciating ist qualities. I am saddened that such amazing, ancient and tiny plants are dismissed and removed by just the kinds of chemicals from which they can protect us.
Long live moss and insightful writers like Robin Wall Kimmerer.