The Signature of All Things

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9781408841891: The Signature of All Things
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2013: As a small girl, Elizabeth Gilbert scrawled her name in the most extraordinary book in her house: an original illustrated folio of Captain Cook’s voyages. Decades later, her parents discovered her signature and gave her the book, reigniting her passion for scientific exploration in the century leading up to Darwin’s theory of evolution. She became fascinated with the women—always wives or daughters of scientists—who made their own discoveries, in spite of the cultural constraints that kept them from true exploration. Her invented heroine, the insatiably curious Alma Whittaker, daughter of a scrappy botanical baron, spends most of her life confined to her family estate in Philadelphia, yearning for a life of greater passion and liberty. She channels her desires into botany, thrilling to the miniature universe of moss in the forests surrounding her house, developing a new taxonomy that becomes a theory encompassing all living things, parallel to Darwin’s. When she finally turns herself loose on the world, it’s to claim her place in a lineage of explorers. An earthy, elegant, deeply sensual novel of daring breadth and imagination, The Signature of All Things gives us the cosmos in the life of one woman, in her worlds within worlds. –Mari Malcolm

About the Author:

Elizabeth Gilbert is an award-winning writer of both fiction and nonfiction. Her short story collection, "Pilgrims," was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and her novel, "Stern Men," was a "New York Times" Notable Book. Her 2002 book, "The Last American Man," was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is best known for her 2006 memoir, "Eat, Pray, Love," which has been published in more than thirty languages; a film based on the memoir, starring Julia Roberts, opened in August 2010. Her most recent book, the memoir "Committed: A Love Story," appeared in 2010. In 2008, "Time" magazine named Gilbert one of the most influential people in the world. Her Web site is www.elizabethgilbert.com.

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