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Diane Ackerman Books In Order

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

On Extended Wings (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Natural History of the Senses (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Moon by Whale Light and Other Adventures Among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians and Whales (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Natural History of Love (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Curious Naturalist (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rarest of the Rare: Vanishing Animals, Timeless Worlds (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Monk Seal Hideaway (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Slender Thread: Rediscovering Hope at the Heart of Crisis (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bats: Shadows in the Night (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Book of Love (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deep Play (With: Peter Sís) (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Twilight of the Tenderfoot: A Western Memoir (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Zookeeper's Wife (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Hundred Names for Love: A Memoir (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Human Age: The World Shaped By Us (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Collections

The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral[Poems] (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wife of Light (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lady Faustus (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Reverse Thunder: A Dramatic Poem (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
I Praise My Destroyer: Poems (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Origami Bridges: Poems of Psychoanalysis and Fire (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Senses of Animals: Poems (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Animal Sense (With: Peter Sís) (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

A Convergence of Birds(2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
When The Wild Comes Leaping Up(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Arms of Words: Poems for Disaster Relief(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hope Beneath Our Feet(2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wonder and Other Survival Skills(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Diane Ackerman is a literary fiction, science author and poet from Ithaca New York. She was born to local shoe salesman Sam Fink and seasoned world traveler Marsha Tischler Fink in Waukegan, Illinois. Nonetheless, she spent much of her youth in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and remembers that she always loved reading poetry from a very early age. She remembers beaming with so much excitement when she read the bat: the living plums, her first metaphor. During this time, Ackerman also developed a fascination with the universe, nature, astronomy, and animals that would later influence her career choice and writing career. She went to Boston College and then went on to graduate with a bachelor in English from Pennsylvania State University in 1970. Being the nerd that she was, she continued to Cornell for her masters and over seven years, she got her Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in Literature and a Creative Writing Master of Fine Arts. Ackerman got married to writer Paul West and they lived together in Ithaca until he died in 2015. Over the years, she has been involved in all manner of things that she is called an essayist, poet, travel writer, and author.

After getting her doctorate and MFA from Cornell, she went on to make her name as a naturalist, essayist, and poet. Her novels include the PEN Henry David Thoreau Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling title “The Human Age” that was published in 2014. Many of her works have gone on to become bestselling titles winning several awards such as the Orion Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and she also made the shortlist for the Pulitzer Prize. Ackerman has been a co-editor of the 1998 published “Norton’s Book of Love” on which she worked with Jeanne Mackin. Other awards she has won include the Academy of American Poets Peter IB Lavan Award and the Poets Prize. She has been honored with grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lavan Poetry Prize, and the John Burroughs Nature Award. The New York Public Library named her a Literary Lion while the 1985 Morrow Anthology of Younger American Poets Norton Introduction to Poetry published in 1986 featured many of her poems. Diane also had the honor of having a molecule, the “dianeackerone” named after her.

Diane Ackerman’s proficiency as a writer and poet did not come out of the blue as she started writing even before she was a teen. By the time she was twelve, she was penning short stories in notebooks and writing the manuscript for a novel. However what she understood at this time was that she had to write a novel full of violence, kissing, and romance if she was to be successful. Since she hardly knew anything about the worlds she was writing about, it was a hopeless attempt. Diane then pivoted to writing about a girl that loved a horse which was a subject she had more conversant with. The first novel she ever published was “Twilight of the Tenderfoot” which she penned while living on a New Mexico ranch during several vacations she took in the state. She had gone there looking to write about horse aesthetics but when she arrived, she was fascinated to learn that ranching and the cowboy culture remained unchanged for more than a hundred years. She got involved in the roping, herding, and horseback riding with the cowboys, which she found to be much fun. Ackerman was in graduate school when she wrote the novel though she had published several poetry books by then. Apart from her books and poetry, she has also written children’s books and contributed to The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Diane Ackerman’s “The ZooKeeper’s Wife” tells the story of the German invasion of Poland. The Luftwaffe had sent in their Stuka bombers that had left Warsaw devastated. The city zoo had not been spared as most of the animals had been killed. Antonina and Jan Zabinski the zookeepers had started using the empty cages as a hideout for Jews waiting to be smuggled out of the country. The Zabinskis had hidden another twelve guests in their villa and let them out after dark to socialize and have dinner and in rare moments they could also have piano concerts. Jan has been working with the Polish resistance and in the animal hospital and the elephant enclosure, she has buried a ton of ammunition which she provides to the fighters whenever they need it. In the meantime, Antonina is keeping her household going with its animal and human inhabitants taken care of. Some of the animals she has in her home include several lynxes, hyena puppies, a badger, and a few otters. Diane Ackerman writes with exquisite sensitivity but exuberant prose to engage her readers in the lives of her hidden visitors, her animals, and the people that take care of them. The authors show how the Zabinski’s keep an atmosphere of innocence and play and refuse to give in to intimidation and fear, even as their world crumbles all around them.

“A Natural History of the Senses” is an exploration of the senses which Diane Ackerman does with magnificent prose. The work is meant to increase awareness of the sensations in the physical world as the author writes for a mindful audience in an authentic and thorough way. Ackerman not only writes in a vibrant and real way but also delves into the history and science of physical sensations. She explores everything from the workings of olfactory nerves which impact sensations of taste and smell to the intricacies of the nervous systems that inform the senses of touch. Writing in readable and clear prose, Ackerman shows her excellent skills in research in an exploration of how each sense impacted societies and cultures for years. The diversity of the work and how expertly Ackerman discusses the senses deepens her already thoughtful and impressive writing.

Diane Ackerman’s “A Natural History of Love” is a combination of science and poetry that paints beautiful pictures even as they present complex concepts with surprising ease. With her ear for a teaching tone and a poet’s ear for sentences, she brings entertainment as well as science to her readers. In the book, she leads her readers through an exploration of love as science, even as she does not diminish love into mere science. The book is full of research and anecdotes, feelings and facts, and history and poetry. This is a product of a lot of research which has made it possible for the author to come up with an interesting and essential treatise on a very complex topic. She effectively asks and answers the question of why, how, and what we love. She tells of how humanity has experienced love what love is and what it is not. While science can turn off many readers, Ackerman writes an entertaining novel while still managing to provide a covert education.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Diane Ackerman

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