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Howl: of Woman and Wolf made High Country News’ fall reading list of “book recommendations for the cold months ahead.”
Read more about Howl, with a description from the publisher:
Commemorating twenty years since the wolf’s return to the American West, Howl explores passions and controversies surrounding nature’s most fascinating predator. Susan Imhoff Bird travels the West, journeying from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah, through Yellowstone and Montana. Along the way, she interviews ranchers and park personnel, wolf watchers, biologists, and families, uncovering a range of emotions—from admiration and reverence to vitriol and anxiety—toward wolves and all that they have come to signify.
Drawn to wolves’ resilience and innate sense of place, Bird discovers important personal truths and desires as she learns more about these often-misunderstood creatures. At a crossroads in her own life, she shares her personal triumphs, her self-doubt, and difficult scenes from her past: caring for a son with cerebral palsy whose blue eyes won’t meet her own, stripping wall paper with a husband whose hidden layers have built up a barrier, a long dark night of pain while recovering from a severe bicycle accident. An emergence beyond these periods of her life and a respect for how they have shaped her drives Bird to find her voice and her self—unfettered, and wild as a wolf’s howl.
“Wolves are tough. To coexist with them takes coming at the issue with everything we can muster and think of—Susan adds vitally to this conversation. With wit, emotion and passion, she thinks like many who have pondered the issue do not. This opens the eyes of the initiated and uninitiated. It’s well worth the time reading this fresh look at an ancient conflict.”
— DOUG SMITH, author of Decade of the Wolf, senior wildlife biologist, Yellowstone National Park
“The brave writers of natural history understand both the technical and the spiritual sides of ecology; and they don’t shy from either. Susan Imhoff Bird is one of these.”
—MICHAEL SOULÉ, editor of Conservation Biology: Research priorities for the next decade
“Susan Imhoff Bird and I had many memorable experiences watching and studying wolves in Yellowstone National Park and I enjoyed reading her account of her quest to find the heart and soul of the wolf.”
—RICK MCINTYRE, author of A Society of Wolves and War Against the Wolf
SUSAN IMHOFF BIRD finds inspiration in Utah’s stunning canyons, valleys and water-sculpted rock. When not writing, reading, trying to meditate, or attempting yoga asanas, she can be found on her bicycle or snowshoes, absorbing the wisdom of the natural world. And occasionally howling.