Start: 6:00 pm
Megan Marshall, the award-winning author of The Peabody Sisters takes a fresh look at the trailblazing life of a great American heroine in Margaret Fuller: A New American Life ($30.00). In her life, Fuller served as Thoreau’s first editor, Emerson’s close friend, the first female war correspondent, and a passionate advocate of personal and political freedom.Megan Marshall is the author of The Peabody Sisters, which won the Francis Parkman Prize, the Mark Lynton History Prize, the Massachusetts Book Award in Nonfiction, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography and memoir. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, and Slate. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEH fellowships, Marshall teaches narrative nonfiction and the art of archival research in the MFA program at Emerson College.
Start: 7:00 pm
Noted science writer Virginia Morell explores the frontiers of research on animal cognition and emotion, offering a surprising and moving exploration into the hearts and minds of wild and domesticated animals. Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures ($26.00) takes us on a dazzling odyssey into the inner world of animals, from ants to elephants to wolves, and from sharp-shooting archerfish to pods of dolphins that rumble like rival street gangs. With 30 years of experience covering the sciences, Morell uses her formidable gifts as a story-teller to transport us to field sites and laboratories around the world, introducing us to pioneering animal-cognition researchers and their surprisingly intelligent and sensitive subjects. She explores how this rapidly evolving, controversial field has only recently overturned old notions about why animals behave as they do. She probes the moral and ethical dilemmas of recognizing that even “lesser animals” have cognitive abilities such as memory, feelings, personality, and self-awareness--traits that many in the twentieth century felt were unique to human beings.Virginia Morell is a prolific contributor to National Geographic, Science, and Smithsonian, among other publications. She is also the author of Ancestral Passions, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Blue Nile; and coauthor with Richard Leakey of Wildlife Wars.