AWARD-WINNING NATURE WRITER, TO SPEAK ABOUT HIS LATEST BOOK, SPILLOVER (2012), ABOUT NEW DISEASES THAT JUMP FROM ANIMALS
NYS Writers Institute, October 18, 2012
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Assembly Hall, Campus Center, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Assembly Hall, Campus Center, Uptown Campus
David Quammen, award-winning nature writer, will talk about his latest book, Spillover (2012), about new diseases that jump from animals to humans, on Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 8 p.m. in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center, on the University at Albany’s uptown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., the author will present an informal seminar at the same location. The events are free and open to the public, and are cosponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and UAlbany’s School of Public Health.
"Somebody asked me. . .who is your main literary influence as a science writer and I said, William Faulkner . . . " (3:11)
David Quammen is one of America’s leading nature writers and a three time winner of the National Magazine Award. His new book is Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (2012), about his travels in the remote corners of the globe with field researchers investigating disease outbreaks in rats, monkeys, bats, pigs, and other species, with the potential to “spill over” to humans.
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly called it, “a frightening but critically important book for anyone interested in learning about the prospects of the world’s next major pandemic.” Kathryn Schultz of New York Magazine said, “David Quammen might be my favorite living science writer: amiable, erudite, understated, incredibly funny, profoundly humane. The best of his books, The Song of the Dodo, renders the relatively arcane field of island biogeography as gripping as a thriller. That bodes well for his new book, whose subject really is thriller-worthy: how deadly diseases (AIDS, SARS, Ebola) make the leap from animals to humans, and how, where, and when the next pandemic might emerge.”
A widely-travelled contributing writer for National Geographic, and the author of the column, “Natural Acts,” for Outside magazine for 15 years, Quammen has written several nonfiction bestsellers, including The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution (2006), Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind (2003), The Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder (2001), and The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction (1996).
Writing in Audobon magazine, bestselling Adirondack nature writer Bill McKibben said of Song of the Dodo, “Not only is this book compulsively readable - a masterpiece - it is maybe the masterpiece of science journalism.” Fiction writer T. Coraghessan Boyle said of Monster of God, “Erudite, witty, and utterly fascinating...[it] sets a new standard in nature writing.”
In the 1980s, Quammen produced several critically praised works of fiction that are still in print, including the story collection, Blood Lines: Stories of Fathers and Sons (1988), which the Chicago Tribune reviewer called, “….great stories…. old-fashioned yarns [that] grab the reader, make him listen, hold him to the end, linger in his consciousness.”
Quammen also served as editor of the anthology, The Best American Science & Nature Writing (2000). A Rhodes Scholar and winner of the John Burroughs Medal for nature writing, among other honors, Quammen lives in Bozeman, Montana.