The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature (Paperback)
A biologist reveals the secret world hidden in a single square meter of old-growth forest--a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pen/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
Look out for David Haskell's new book, The Songs of Trees: Stories From Nature's Great Connectors, coming in April of 2017
In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one- square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life.
Each of this book's short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands- sometimes millions-of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home.
Written with remarkable grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Haskell is a perfect guide into the world that exists beneath our feet and beyond our backyards.
About the Author
David Haskell's work integrates scientific, literary, and contemplative studies of the natural world. He is a professor of biology and environmental studies at the University of the South and a Guggenheim Fellow. His 2012 book The Forest Unseen was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and won the 2013 Best Book Award from the National Academies, the National Outdoor Book Award, and the Reed Environmental Writing Award. Along with his scholarly research, he has published essays, op-eds, and poetry.
"Haskell leads the reader into a new genre of nature writing, located between science and poetry, in which the invisible appear, the small grow large, and the immense complexity and beauty of life are more clearly revealed."
-E. O. Wilson, Harvard University
"David Haskell trains his eye on a single square meter of Cumberland Plateau, and manages in the process to see the whole living planet as clearly as any writer in many years. Each chapter will teach you something new!"
-Bill McKibben, author Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
\"In the style of Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Thoreau, David Haskell has capture the beauty and intricacy of evolution in these pages. For those who are looking for inspiration to spend more time in the wild, this book is the perfect companion. Haskell's vast knowledge of the forest and all its creatures is the perfect guide to exploring wilderness. The prose is a perfect match for the poetic tranquillity found through the study of nature. A true naturalist's manifesto."
-Greg Graffin, author of Anarchy Evolution
"[Haskell] thinks like a biologist, writes like a poet, and gives the natural world the kind of open-minded attention one expects from a Zen monk rather than a hypothesis-driven scientist." --The New York Times