Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses.Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us.

Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world.

Gathering Moss will appeal to a wide range of readers, from bryologists to those interested in natural history and the environment, Native Americans, and contemporary nature and science writing.

Title:Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780870714993
Format Type:

    Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses Reviews

  • Elaine

    I just finished reading Gathering Moss and it was a lovely surprise. Not what I was expecting. I was expecting lots of pieces of science detailed and separate. What I got was one whole. A story, woven...

  • rose

    ok. so i'm obsessed with moss. but it helps that kimmerer is an excellent nature writer, passionate about her topic, but smart enough to keep it personal and interesting. she made me want to shrink do...

  • Jennifer

    Mosses are the final frontier for most botanists. We start with the easy stuff - trees, shrubs, and flowers - and then level up into grasses, sedges, and rushes. But mosses are uniquely daunting, as t...

  • Lauren

    "Mosses are successful by any biological measure - they inhabit nearly every ecosystem in earth and number as many as 22,000 species."Kimmerer's linked essays weave personal histories with her researc...

  • Eddie Watkins

    This woman really loves moss, and who can blame her. She writes about it as a scientist, with all the Latin jargon and botanical details, but she also weaves into the linked essays that comprise this ...

  • Dianne

    I love it when book leads on to book, as way leads on to way. Gilbert made the briefest mention of this book in her credits for "The Signature of All Things", recognizing Kimmerer as the real collecto...

  • Susan Albert

    Loved this collection of linked personal essays, all focused on Kimmerer's scientific work with mosses but reaching into her life as a teacher, mother, and Native American. Lovely metaphors here for b...

  • Hank Horse

    This is my favorite kind of science writing, done by someone in love with the physical world, who skillfully communicates how amazing their object of study is. It got to a point where I was dogearing ...

  • Adam Neve

    This is not a cultural history, it's a memoir. This is not a natural history, it's a treatise on bullshit. Aside from a few beautiful turns of phrase and a very interesting discussion of tetraphis rep...

  • Sarah

    Robin Wall Kimmerer is such a wonderful storyteller. She could write/talk about anything in the world and it would be engrossing. I knew a little about mosses from my botany days, but not much, and Ki...