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 four collections of poetry: OCEANIC (2018) , LUCKY FISH (2011) , MIRACLE FRUIT (2003) , winner of the Tupelo Press Prize and the ForeWord Magazine Poetry Book of the Year Award, and AT THE DRIVE-IN VOLCANO (2007) , winner of the Balcones Prize. Her book of nature essays is forthcoming from Milkweed. Other awards for her writing include a fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Pushcart Prize. She is Professor of English in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi.

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