World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments (Hardcover)

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The incredible poet, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, turns her hand to prose in the beautifully illustrated book of short essays, World of Wonders, where she weaves together personal memoir and nature writing. Nezhukumatathil is the daughter of a Filipina mother and Indian father, both gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts, and she writes about being one of the only families of color on all of her childhood hikes in Ohio and northern New York. But her love of nature was deeply instilled and has greatly influenced her writing and the kinship she finds with the unusual and odd creatures of our planet. This book is filled with life and upliftment, and balances critique of the racism embedded in our culture with her passion for the wonders of the natural world. For lovers of Robin Wall Kimmerer, Mary Oliver, and Ross Gay, you will lose yourself in this swirl of magic.

— Tyler

September 2020 Indie Next List


“Aimee didn’t know it at the time (or maybe she did in her mystical way), but this book was written for me and all the other brown-skinned, nature-loving, quiet-questers in the world. This beautiful package asks the reader to pick it up and go for a walk down memory lane, where you will find essays on a diversity of flora and fauna, from the dragon fruit to the narwhal, and from the corpse flower to the axolotl — all of which are gorgeously illustrated inside. Her writing asks everyone to find beauty and connection to the wonders that are nature’s stories.”
— Jessica Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Description


A Barnes & Noble 2020 Book of the Year Finalist
A Kirkus Prize Finalist for Nonfiction
An Indie Next Pick, September 2019
A Publishers Weekly "Big Indie Book of Fall 2020"
A BuzzFeed Best Book of Fall 2020
A Literary Hub "Most Anticipated Book of 2020
An Esquire Best Book of Fall 2020
A Ralph Lauren Summer Reading Recommendation
A Garden & Gun Summer Reading Recommendation
A Bustle "Best Book of Fall 2020
Named a "Most Anticipated Book of 2020" by The Millions
An Alma "Favorite Book for Fall 2020"
A Literary Hub "Recommended Climate Read for September 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 Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.

About the Author


Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four collections of poems, including, most recently, Oceanic, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Other awards for her writing include fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Council, and MacDowell. Her writing appears in Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece and is professor of English and creative writing in the University of Mississippi's MFA program.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781571313652
ISBN-10: 1571313656
Publisher: Milkweed Editions
Publication Date: September 8th, 2020
Pages: 184
Language: English