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David Quammen Visits Dartmouth

Hanover, NH, USA 03755

April 7, 2004

Author David Quammen from Bozeman, Montana came to Dartmouth in Spring, 2004. We had a great visit with David and his keynote lecture featured stories and readings from his latest book "Monster of God: Man-eating Predators in the Jungles of History and the Mind." You could hear a pin drop in Filene Auditorium as David recounted his experiences in Siberia, Romania, India and other places he traveled to while conducting research for the book. For over an hour, Quammen took the audience on a journey around the world highlighting many of the unique and often overlooked psychological impacts made by animals at the top of the food chain. Quammen's lecture reflected his writing style-he translated gripping stories and vivid imagery through his acute scientific, social and psychological lenses. Prior to his lecture, David met with faculty, had lunch with students and visited a class taught by Terry Osborne on nature writing. Everyone appreciated David's kind, gentle personality and the care and precision with which he approached his topics.


View QuickTime video clips of David Quammen's lecture:
Man-Eating Predators in the Jungles of History and  the Mind

A Psychological Category: Man Eaters 1.1 MB
The Muskrat Conundrum 2.5 MB
Alien Terror 3.1 MB



Quammen, a Yale graduate and former Rhodes Scholar, studied literature - William Faulkner to be exact - during  his graduate studies at Oxford. After trying his hand at fiction writing, he turned to science writing and found  greater success. He now travels around the world gathering scientific, cultural, and literary information about  specific aspects of nature for his science books, the first of which was The Song of the Dodo .

His latest science book, Monster of God , published last year by W.W. Norton & Company, deals with the relationship of four predators - Indian lions, Australian crocodiles, Russian brown bears and Siberian tigers - with authoritarian governments and with primitive tribes. It also documents the place of these predators in literature, mythology and religion.

Quammen wrote a science column, "Natural Acts," for Outside magazine for 15 years, gaining "a reputation with readers for making natural science understandable and relevant, and with scientists for getting it right," according to David Sumner, former Assistant Professor of English at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, who  interviewed Quammen in 2001, when Quammen was writing Monster of God . (See "Quoting Quammen" below)

Quammen twice received the National Magazine Award for his columns at Outside , which are collected in two  volumes, titled Natural Acts: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature and The Flight of the Iguana: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature .

Quammen now lives in Bozeman, Montana.

Biography by Amanda Weatherman, VOX 04/05/04


Quammen, David. The Flight of the Iguana: a Sidelong View of Science and Nature. New York: Delacorte Press, 1988.

Quammen, David. Miracle of the Geese. Words from the Land: Encounters with Natural History Writing. Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith Books, 1988.

Quammen, David. Natural Acts: a Sidelong View of Science and Nature. New York: Schocken Books, 1985.

Quammen, David. The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinctions. New York: Scribner, 1996.

Quammen, David. Wild Thoughts From Wild Places. New York: Scribner, 1998.

Quammen, David. Boilerplate Rhino: Nature in the Eye of the Beholder. New York: Scribner, 2001.

Quammen, David. Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind. New York: Scribner, 2003.

This page authored and designed by Travis Keller ('05) and Andy Friedland.

Last Updated: 10/8/08