Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

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Oregon State University Press, 2003 - Nature - 168 pages
4 Reviews
Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses.

Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us.

Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world.

Gathering Moss will appeal to a wide range of readers, from bryologists to those interested in natural history and the environment, Native Americans, and contemporary nature and science writing.

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User Review  - Paulagraph - LibraryThing

I loved this book. Rachel Wall Kimmerer’s Gathering Moss is the best sort of nature writing, reminiscent of Rachel Carson’s Under the Sea-Wind in its lyricism, style and scientific precision ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - 2wonderY - LibraryThing

My initial disappointment that this book lacks the taxonomic details and photos I was looking for, gave way at the first paragraph. Kimmerer's prose is heart-stoppingly beautiful. She reminds me of ... Read full review


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About the author (2003)

Robin Wall Kimmerer is an Associate Professor on thefaculty of Environmental and Forest Biology at the State University ofNew York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She haspublished numerous articles on the biology and ecology of mosses, aswell as articles on traditional Native American knowledge of thenatural world. Gathering Moss is her first book.

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