Why fish don't exist : a story of loss, love, and the hidden order of life
- Lulu Miller ; illustrations by Kate Samworth
- First Simon & Schuster paperback edition
- New York : Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2021
- Copyright notice
- Physical description
- 228 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
At the library
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 205-228)
- A boy with his head in the stars
- A prophet on an island
- A godless interlude
- Chasing tail
- Genesis in a jar
- The indestructible
- On delusion
- The bitterest thing in the world
- A veritable chamber of horrors
- The ladder
- Deus ex machina
- "David Starr Jordan was a taxonomist, a man possessed with bringing order to the natural world. In time, he would be credited with discovering nearly a fifth of the fish known to humans in his day. But the more of the hidden blueprint of life he uncovered, the harder the universe seemed to try to thwart him. His specimen collections were demolished by lightning, by fire, and eventually by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake--which sent more than a thousand of his discoveries, housed in fragile glass jars, plummeting to the floor. In an instant, his life's work was shattered. Many might have given up, given in to despair. But Jordan? He surveyed the wreckage at his feet, found the first fish he recognized, and confidently began to rebuild his collection. And this time, he introduced one clever innovation that he believed would at last protect his work against the chaos of the world. When NPR reporter Lulu Miller first heard this anecdote in passing, she took Jordan for a fool--a cautionary tale in hubris, or denial. But as her own life slowly unraveled, she began to wonder about him. Perhaps instead he was a model for how to go on when all seemed lost. What she would unearth about his life would transform her understanding of history, morality, and the world beneath her feet. Part biography, part memoir, part scientific adventure, Why Fish Don't Exist reads like a fable about how to persevere in a world where chaos will always prevail."--Provided by publisher
- Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931.
- Stanford University > Presidents > Biography.
- Taxonomists > United States > Biography.
- Naturalists > United States > Biography.
- Ichthyologists > United States > Biography.
- Educators > United States > Biography.
- Biology > Classification.
- Miller, Lulu, 1983-
- Stanford University.
- United States.
- Publication date
- Copyright date
- Includes readers' guide book discussion questions (on 3 unnumbered pages at end)
- 9781501160349 (paperback)
- 1501160346 (paperback)
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