Sunday, July 06, 2008

What is Marie Winn reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Marie Winn, author of Central Park in the Dark: More Mysteries of Urban Wildlife and many other books.

Her entry begins:
I'm the literary equivalent of an over-eater, an over-reader. If reading were fattening I'd be obese. I've just had a fairly long fast, being unable to read for pleasure while in the throes of writing. Now that I've finished my book, I'm making up for it with gluttonous reading. Here are a few of the books I'm reading at the moment, with a word of explanation as to why I'm reading each. I'll also note the likelihood of my finishing them.

The Snake Charmer by Jamie James [Hyperion]. I love snakes. I also have an indirect connection with Joe Slowinski, the California herpetologist whose life and tragic death this book recounts. There's no way I'm not going to finish this book. It's full of fascinating snake lore and [read on].
About Central Park in the Dark, from the publisher:
Love and loss, life and death, among the nighttime creatures of the city that never sleeps

Like her bestseller Red-Tails in Love, Marie Winn’s Central Park in the Dark explores a once-hidden world in a series of interlocking narratives about the extraordinary denizens, human and animal, of an iconic American park. Her beguiling account of a city’s lakes and woodlands at night takes the reader through the cycle of seasons as experienced by nocturnal active beasts (raccoons, bats, black skimmers, and sleeping robins among them), insects (moths, wasps, fireflies, crickets), and slugs (in all their unexpected poetical randiness). Winn does not neglect her famous protagonists Pale Male and Lola, the hawks that captivated readers years ago, but this time she adds an exciting narrative about thirty-eight screech owls in Central Park and their lives, loves, and tragedies there.

An eye-popping amount of natural history is packed into this entertaining book—on bird physiology, spiders, sunsets, dragonflies, meteor showers, and the nature of darkness. But the human drama is never forgotten, for Central Park at night boasts a floating population not only of lovers, dog walkers, and policemen but of regulars young and old who, like Winn, hope to unlock the secrets of urban nature. These “night people” are drawn into a peculiar kind of intimacy. While exploring the astonishing variety of wildlife in the city park, they end up revealing more of their inner lives than they expected.
Learn more about Marie Winn and her work at her website.

Writers Read: Marie Winn.

--Marshal Zeringue