Anthony Doerr Recommends

“An under-appreciated book this past year that I absolutely loved is a slim book of interrelated essays called Wolves and Honey, by Susan Brind Morrow,” writes Anthony Doerr. “On the surface it’s a regional history of the Finger Lakes area of New York, but it’s also a personal narrative about the deaths of two friends. Sort of. But everything in this memoir ranges: ultimately, it is impossible to categorize other than to say it’s a riveting compendium of observations from a very curious, very interesting mind. From beavers to coyotes, to a history of grafting, to an absolutely beautiful chapter on the lives of bees, Morrow’s memoir/collection consistently subverts the confessional in favor of tracing the infinite connections between the modern self and the larger world beyond. What I enjoyed more than anything was her extreme care with words, and her classicist’s sensitivity to etymology. Language, she continually reminds us, is a ”great mirror that contains the reflections of everything that ever lived.'”

Anthony Doerr is the author of The Shell Collector and About Grace. His fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Zoetrope: All Story, among many other publications. He currently lives in Rome, Italy.