Zoo World: Essays (Non/Fiction Collection Prize) (Paperback)

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“A pocket adventure for environmentalists and those who enjoy meditative writing.” —Kirkus

We contain the elements of our world in archives, boxes, collections, mausoleums, history books, and museums, trying to stave off their eventual disappearance from our memory and from the earth in a futile attempt at redemption for our violence against them. In Zoo World, Mary Quade examines our propensity for damage, our relationships with other species, our troubling belief in our own dominion, and the reality that when you put something in a cage, it becomes your responsibility. Her subjects are as eclectic as mallard ducks, ancient churches, monarch butterflies, classrooms, tourism, street markets, zoos, and dairy cows and as global as migration, war, language, and climate change. Whatever the topic at hand, Zoo World considers how our stewardship of the earth and one another falls short, hoping that a more humble understanding of our place on the planet might lead not only to our mutual survival but also to the extinction of our hubris as human beings. Replete with Quade’s lyrical and observational gifts and refusing to let any of us off the hook in the name of inspiration or comfort, these essays are a fresh take on travel and nature writing, pushing both in thrilling new directions.

About the Author

Mary Quade is the author of the poetry collections Guide to Native Beasts and Local Extinctions. A graduate of the University of Chicago and the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, she is a recipient of an Oregon Literary Fellowship and four Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards for both poetry and creative nonfiction. She teaches creative writing at Hiram College.

Praise For…

“Quade, a poet and creative writing instructor, presents a mixture of travel memoir, philosophical meditation, and environmental ethics class, pondering the many ways she and all of us walk through the world.…A pocket adventure for environmentalists and those who enjoy meditative writing.” —Kirkus

“These passionate, nuanced environmentalist essays are perfect for Barbara Kingsolver fans.” —Rebecca Foster, Shelf Awareness

“Mary Quade is like a girl-guide transcendentalist. She has an unquenchable thirst for natural history—ducklings, milkweed, snake farms—and an unflinching eye for environmental crime. In prose that is like fleshed-out poetry, she elevates the humble and brings great concepts down to earth. Whether at home in Ohio or on an adventure in Michoacán, Vietnam, or the Galápagos, Quade is excellent company. Zoo World is a book to savor.” —Mary Norris, author of Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen

“Mary Quade is a collector—of insects and injured ducks, of images and memories and facts. Whether wandering a zoo in Vietnam, a beach by Tortuga Bay, some industrial no-man’s-land in Cleveland, or her own backyard, she gathers into her sentences a great many bright and broken findings that, arranged into these artful essays, lovingly illuminate this bright and broken world.” —Donovan Hohn, author of Moby-Duck and The Inner Coast

“A wild ride of a book about the animals in whose midst we live, the animals we eat, and the animals we are—taking us swiftly round the curves and hauling us up each steep ascent before the exhilarating, inevitable plunge that follows.” —Michelle Herman, The Journal Non/Fiction Prize judge and author of Close-Up

“In these stunning and urgent explorations, largely about the (im)balance between the human and nonhuman worlds, Quade writes with the precision of a researcher, the lyricism of a poet (which she is), and a selfless compassion. This extraordinary menagerie of essays is not to be missed.” —Sue William Silverman, author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences
Product Details
ISBN: 9780814258774
ISBN-10: 0814258778
Publisher: Mad Creek Books
Publication Date: September 19th, 2023
Pages: 208
Language: English
Series: Non/Fiction Collection Prize