From award-winning writer Leila Philip, Beaverland is a masterful work of narrative science writing, a book that highlights, through history and contemporary storytelling, how this weird rodent plays an oversized role in American history and its future.
This event is presented in partnership with the Upper Valley Land Trust!
Beginning with the early trans-Atlantic trade in North America, Leila Philip traces the beaver's profound influence on our nation's early economy and feverish western expansion, its first corporations and multi-millionaires. In her pursuit of this weird and wonderful animal, she introduces us to people whose lives are devoted to the beaver, including a Harvard scientist from the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, who uses drones to create 3-dimensional images of beaver dams; and an environmental restoration consultant in the Chesapeake whose nickname is the "beaver whisperer". What emerges is a poignant personal narrative, a startling portrait of the secretive world of the contemporary fur trade, and an engrossing ecological and historical investigation of these heroic animals who, once trapped to the point of extinction, have returned to the landscape as one of the greatest conservation stories of the 20th century. Beautifully written and impeccably researched, Beaverland reveals the profound ways in which one odd creature and the trade surrounding it has shaped history, culture, and our environment.
Leila Philip is the author of award-winning books of nonfiction that chronicle diverse, personal journeys. In The Road Through Miyama, Philip, already fluent in Japanese and a potter, traveled to Japan to apprentice to a master potter in southern Kyushu. A Family Place: A Hudson Valley Farm, Three Centuries, Five Wars, One Family, took her much closer to home (literally), and weaves the history of the Hudson valley farm where she spent her childhood with a revealing account of what’s involved in cultivating orchards. Both books received awards, and glowing national reviews. A Guggenheim Fellow, Leila has also been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She works across genres, publishing poetry, essays and theatrical script and is currently at work on a documentary film. She was a popular contributing columnist at the Boston Globe and teaches in the Environmental Studies Program at the College of the Holy Cross where she is a professor in the English Department, where she holds the Brooks Chair in the Humanities.
Matthew Hongoltz-Hetling is a journalist specializing in narrative features and investigative reporting. He has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, won a George Polk Award, and been voted Journalist of the Year by the Maine Press association, among numerous other honors. He is the author of one previous book, A Libertarian Walks Into a Bear, and his writing has appeared in Foreign Policy, USA Today, Popular Science, Atavist Magazine, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, the Associated Press, and elsewhere. He lives in Vermont.
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERFrom award-winning writer Leila Philip, Beaverland is a masterful work of narrative science writing, a book that highlights, though history and cont
An intimate and revelatory dive into the world of the beaver—the wonderfully weird rodent that has surprisingly shaped American history and may save its ecological future.