Fauna

Strange Beasts of China, Yan GE

The novel’s environmental ethos is also very much of the now, with numerous, vivid descriptions of urban decay competing with the natural world. As an example, there’s a wistful moment where the novelist sees a bird rise into the air with… “an elongated body and exquisite movements, feathers as pale […]

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Indie Corner – Emma Reynolds

Back to the Indie Corner series I was thrilled to talk with Emma Reynolds, author of the just-out children’s book Amara and the Bats, a beautifully written and illustrated story that reminds us of the determination of youth and the importance of bats. Emma Reynolds is an illustrator and author […]

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Indie Corner – Paul S. Piper

Back to the Indie Corner series I’m happy to have the chance to talk with Paul S. Piper, author of the novel The Wolves of Mirr (Book View Cafe, February 2021), which is set in the Bitterroot Valley of Montana. Paul has five published books of poetry, including Dogs and […]

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Once There Were Wolves, Charlotte McConaghy

From bestselling author Charlotte McConaghy, Once There Were Wolves is a novel about a scientist reintroducing wolves to the Scottish Highlands, and the secrets that begin to catch up to her when a local farmer goes missing. Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with a singular purpose: to reintroduce wolves into […]

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Indie Corner – Claire Datnow

Back to the Indie Corner series I’m delighted to present Claire Datnow as this month’s Indie Corner author. Claire was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, which ignited her love for the natural world and diverse cultures. Claire taught creative writing to gifted and talented students in the Birmingham, […]

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Indie Corner – Ryan Mizzen

Back to the Indie Corner series February’s Indie Corner looks at the amazing Ryan Mizzen and his children’s fiction Hedgey-A and the Honey Bees! Mary: Tell us about yourself–your life so far and how you got started in writing. What else have you written or published? Ryan: My childhood was […]

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Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann

LATTICING one cherry pie after another, an Ohio housewife tries to bridge the gaps between reality and the torrent of meaningless info that is the United States of America. She worries about her children, her dead parents, African elephants, the bedroom rituals of “happy couples”, Weapons of Mass Destruction, and […]

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Rabbit Island, Elvira Navarro

Combining the gritty surrealism of David Lynch with the explosive interior meditations of Clarice Lispector, the stories in Elvira Navarro’s Rabbit Island traverse the fickle, often terrifying terrain between madness and freedom. In the title story, a so-called “non-inventor” conducts an experiment on an island inhabited exclusively by birds and […]

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Strange Birds, Celia C. Perez

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers, Celia C. Perez Middle Grade Fiction Reviewed by Kimberly Christensen In Sabal Palms, Florida, many girls join the Floras, a service organization begun in the early 1900s by some of the founders of the city. Even though her grandmother was a proud […]

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Forest World, Margarita Engle

Middle Grade Fiction Reviewed by Kimberly Christensen Edver and his mother left Cuba when he was just a baby. His father stayed behind and Edver hasn’t seen him since. But when relations between the United States and Cuba finally permit unrestricted travel between the two countries, Edver’s mom sends him […]

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Indie Corner – Ian Boyd and Gary Luck

Back to the Indie Corner series I was happy to meet Ian Boyd and Gary Luck by way of their new children’s novel Melody Finch, a story about the hardships of drought in Australia’s Murray Darling Basin river system, as seen through the eyes of its native wildlife. Ian Boyd’s […]

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Sky Dance, John D. Burns

Full title: Sky Dance: Fighting for the Wild in the Scottish Highlands In his first two bestselling books, The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales, John D. Burns invited readers to join him in the hills and wild places of Scotland. In Sky Dance, he returns to that world to ask […]

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Talking Animals, Joni Murphy

In this novel, at last, nature kvetches and grieves, while talking animals offer us a kind of solace in the guise of dumb jokes. This is mass extinction as told by BoJack Horseman. This is The Fantastic Mr. Fox journeying through Kafka’s Amerika. This is dogs and cats, living together. […]

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Where the Oceans Hide their Dead, John Yunker

Click here to return to the series I’m happy to revisit John Yunker’s work. We previously chatted, along with Midge Raymond, about publishing and environmental fiction. His newest novel, Where the Oceans Hide their Dead (Ashland Creek Press, 2019), gazes at various places in the world where the characters work, […]

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A Peculiar Peril, Jeff VanderMeer

Jonathan Lambshead stands to inherit his deceased grandfather’s overstuffed mansion—a veritable cabinet of curiosities–once he and two schoolmates catalog its contents. But the three soon discover that the house is filled with far more than just oddities: It holds clues linking to an alt-Earth called Aurora, where the notorious English […]

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