About this item

As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted -- no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape -- she was able to turn to our world's fierce and funny creatures for guidance. "What the peacock can do," she tells us, "is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life." The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments.

About the Author

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of the illustrated nature essay collection, WORLD OF WONDERS: IN PRAISE OF FIREFLIES, WHALE SHARKS, AND OTHER ASTONISHMENTS (Milkweed Editions, 2020) , and four award-winning collections of poetry: OCEANIC (2018) , LUCKY FISH (2011) , AT THE DRIVE-IN VOLCANO (2007) , and MIRACLE FRUIT (2003) . Her writing appears in two editions of The Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House. Awards for her writing include a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts, Mississippi Arts Council, and the Pushcart Prize. She is Professor of English in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi.

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