World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments
World of Wonders is a mesmerizing work of essays and tender illustrations, meditations on nature, cumulative in effect; nature as memoir, nature as metaphor, nature as simply and joyously itself. Each chapter captures a moment, each centered around a different natural phenomenon and charts the reverberations of the lived experience it evokes, be it family, identity or the notion of belonging. She urges us to start small to “start with what we loved as kids and see where that leads us.” A centering book, delightful and unexpected.
This B&N Exclusive Gift Edition features a special paper-over-board cover with colored endpapers.
BARNES AND NOBLE BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020
From beloved, award-winning poet Aimee Nezhukumatathil comes a debut work of nonfiction—a collection of essays about the natural world, and the way its inhabitants can teach, support, and inspire us.
As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted—no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape—she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance.
“What the peacock can do,” she tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.
Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wondersis a book of sustenance and joy.