"Whenever I read Craig Childs I feel as if I am in the presence a passionate tour guide to exotic places, rare artifacts, and ancient bones. Childs' Atlas of a Lost World is a transcontinental detective story about the arrival of humans in North America. About 20,000 years ago climates changed, humans spread across the globe, and a new era began for life in North America. Childs' first-hand encounters and vivid prose make his telling of these pivotal events read more like a thriller than a stale account of dusty artifacts." --Neil Shubin, author of Your Inner Fish
FEATURED AUTHOR EVENING • SUNDAY • MAY 20 • 7pm • WILKINSON PUBLIC LIBRARY
CRAIG CHILDShas published more than a dozen critically acclaimed books, including House of Rain: Tracking a Vanished Civilization Across the American Southwest and The Secret Knowledge of Water: Discovering the Essence of the American Desert. His book, Apocalyptic Planet, won the Orion Book Award and he has twice won the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award. Other awards he has received include the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, the Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure, and, for his body of work, the 2003 Spirit of the West Award. He has been a regular commentator for NPR's Morning Edition, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Men's Journal, Outside, The Sun, and Orion Magazine.The New York Times says "Childs's feats of asceticism are nothing if not awe inspiring: he's a modern-day desert father." He has been called a born storyteller by the New York Sun, and the Los Angeles Times says his writing is like pure oxygen, and "stings like a slap in the face." He has also enjoyed stints as an adjunct professor of writing at both University of Alaska in Anchorage and Southern New Hampshire University.
Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America
From the author of Apocalyptic Planet comes a vivid travelogue through prehistory, that traces the arrival of the first people in North America at least twenty thousand years ago and the artifacts that tell of their lives and fates. In Atlas of a Lost World, Craig Childs upends our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era. The lower sea levels of the Ice Age exposed a vast land bridge between Asia and North America, but the land bridge was not the only way across. Different people arrived from different directions, and not all at the same time. The first explorers of the New World were few, their encampments fleeting. The continent they reached had no people but was inhabited by megafauna--mastodons, giant bears, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, five-hundred-pound panthers, enormous bison, and sloths that stood one story tall. The first people were hunters--Paleolithic spear points are still encrusted with the proteins of their prey--but they were wildly outnumbered and many would themselves have been prey to the much larger animals. Atlas of a Lost World chronicles the last millennia of the Ice Age, the violent oscillations and retreat of glaciers, the clues and traces that document the first encounters of early humans, and the animals whose presence governed the humans' chances for survival. A blend of science and personal narrative reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Across unexplored landscapes yet to be peopled, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light.
FYI: In a nod to the Ice Age, there will be popsicles!