Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds

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9780446677493: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds
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An award-winning nature writer weaves natural history and personal experience into the dramatic story of the last days of six North American bird species. With a compelling blend of science, history, politics, and memoir, Cokino draws on unpublished photographs and documents to make these long-vanished birds come alive.

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Review:

A decade ago, new to the Flint Hills of eastern Kansas, poet, journalist, and amateur birder Christopher Cokinos spotted an unusual sight: a pair of green parrotlike birds in flight, chased by a hawk. Uncertain of what he had seen, he turned to his guidebooks and neighbors to discover, eventually, that he had likely spotted a couple of escaped pet conures, tropical birds that were likely to offer some lucky predator an exotic lunch.

In sifting through the ornithological records, Cokinos learned that another brightly colored bird once haunted the skies over eastern Kansas: the Carolina parakeet, long ago driven to extinction by hunting and habitat destruction. Hope Is the Thing with Feathers, a mournful and beautifully written book, offers a powerful meditation on the parakeet's fate, as well as that of other extinct species that lived in North America until the early years of the 20th century: the great auk, the Labrador duck, the heath hen, the passenger pigeon. In a rejoinder to Peter Matthiessen's Wildlife in America, Cokinos celebrates these ghost species, urging the protection of those that remain. "These days hope asks much from us," he allows, grimly observing the carnage that has gone before us. But hope remains, he adds, that some day endangered species will flourish once again. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Christopher Cokinos, former president of the Kansas Audubon Council, is an award-winning writer and poet, and an assistant professor of English at Utah State University, as well as the founding editor of Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing. He has been the recipient of the Whiting Writers' Award, the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers in Creative Nonfiction, and the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. He has won fellowships and grants from the National Science Foundation, the American Antiquarian Society, and the Utah Arts Council. His nonfiction, reviews, and poetry have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Orion, Science and Poetry.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781585427222: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1585427225 ISBN 13:  9781585427222
Publisher: TarcherPerigee, 2009
Softcover

9781585420063: Hope Is the Thing with Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds

Tarcher, 2000
Hardcover

9780756761653: Hope Is the Thing With Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds

Diane ..., 2000
Hardcover

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