Into the Porcupine Cave and Other Odysseys: Adventures of an Occasional Naturalist

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National Geographic, 1999 - Nature - 247 pages
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When William Warner's first book, Beautiful Swimmers, was published more than 20 years ago, Larry McMurtry hailed it as "a new kind of classic...modest, intimate, and very personal." And a classic it proved to be, winning a Pulitzer Prize and the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers who found its blend of elegance, engaging insight, and soft-spoken erudition to be irresistible. Into the Porcupine Cave finds William Warner still at the top of his form: charming, knowledgeable, adventurous, and ever alert to the wonderful variety of the world around us. He doesn't look at things, he looks into them, and shares what he has learned with a simple, graceful eloquence that combines a childlike sense of discovery and an adult sophistication all the more winning for its modesty. With quiet wisdom and infectious wonder, William Warner throws open the windows of the natural world and teaches us to see. William Warner's adventures have taken him from the southernmost point of South America to North America's northernmost permanent Eskimo community. He's been mobbed by howler monkeys in the Guatemalan rain forest, cruised the Florida Keys in the company of hardcore birders, and experienced the solitude of Maine's most isolated lighthouse. Always and everywhere, he has looked around him with the fascination of a born naturalist.

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A Prologue By the Sea
Into the Porcupine Cave
Shorty Slim and the Cave Demon

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About the author (1999)

Author William W. Warner was born in Manhattan, New York in 1920. In 1943, he received a bachelor's degree in geology from Princeton University. He joined the Naval Reserve and was called to active duty during World War II where he served as an aerial photoanalyst in the South Pacific. After the war, he opend a ski lodge in Stowe, Vermount and taught high school English. In 1953, he worked in Central and South America organizing cultural programs for the United States Information Agency. In 1961, he was the Peace Corps. program coordinator for Latin America. He worked at the Smithsonian Institution from 1964 to 1972. He wrote four books during his lifetime. Beautiful Swimmers, a study of crabs and watermen in the Chesapeake Bay, won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1977 and has never gone out of print. He also wrote Distant Water: The Fate of the North Atlanic Fisherman, At Peace with All Their Neighbors, and Into the Porcupine Cave and Other Odysseys. He died from complications of Alzheimer's disease on April 18, 2008.

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