Naturalist and NH author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas


Join us for a talk with living legend, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. Her body of work on animal behavior, Paleolithic life, and the !Kung/Ju/’hoansi people of the Kalahari Desert has contributed widely to our knowledge of the Earth and ourselves. 

An iconoclast and best-selling author of both nonfiction and fiction, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has spent a lifetime observing, thinking, and writing about the cultures of animals such as lions, wolves, dogs, deer, and humans. In this compulsively readable book, she provides a plainspoken, big-picture look at the commonality of life on our planet, from the littlest microbes to the largest lizards.

Inspired by the idea of symbiosis in evolution--that all living things evolve in a series of cooperative relationships--Thomas takes readers on a journey through the progression of life. Along the way she shares the universal likenesses, experiences, and environments of "Gaia's creatures," from amoebas in plant soil to the pets we love, from proud primates to Homo sapiens hunter-gatherers on the African savanna. Fervently rejecting "anthropodenial," the notion that nonhuman life does not share characteristics with humans, Thomas instead shows that paramecia can learn, plants can communicate, humans aren't really as special as we think we are--and that it doesn't take a scientist to marvel at the smallest inhabitants of the natural world and their connections to all living things.

A unique voice on anthropology and animal behavior, Thomas challenges scientific convention and the jargon that prevents us all from understanding all living things better. This joyfully written book is a fascinating look at the challenges and behaviors shared by creatures from bacteria to larvae to parasitic fungi, a potted hyacinth to the author herself, and all those in between.

Praise for The Hidden Life of Life:

"Life comes in countless variations, yet all are based on the same biological principles. Elizabeth Marshall Thomas loves them all--from lichens to fungi and from crocodiles to primates--and puts us on a time machine to go back to the turns evolution has taken, many of them surprising, and one of them leading to us."

--Frans de Waal, author of Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, an anthropologist and animal behaviorist, has published thirteen previous books, including the New York Times best seller The Hidden Life of DogsDreaming of LionsThe Tribe of TigerThe Old Way, and The Hidden Life of Deer. Her most recent book is Tamed and Untamed: Close Encounters of the Animal Kind, coauthored with Sy Montgomery. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Event date: 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 7:00pm

Event address: 

Water Street Bookstore
125 Water Street
Exeter, NH 03833
The Hidden Life of Life: A Walk Through the Reaches of Time (Animalibus #13) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780271081014
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penn State University Press - March 15th, 2018

Tamed and Untamed: Close Encounters of the Animal Kind Cover Image
ISBN: 9781603587556
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chelsea Green Publishing Company - October 4th, 2017