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Diane Ackerman at the 2007 Texas Book Festival.

Diane Ackerman (born October 7, 1948 in Waukegan, Illinois) is an American author, poet, and naturalist known best for her work A Natural History of the Senses. Her writing style, referring to her best-selling natural history books, can best be described as a blend of poetry, colloquial history, and easy-reading science. She has taught at various universities, including Columbia and Cornell, and her essays regularly appear in distinguished popular and literary journals.

Contents

Biography

Born Diane Fink, she was raised in Waukegan, Illinois. She received her B.A. in English from Penn State and an M.F.A. and Ph.D. in English from Cornell University in 1978. Her dissertation advisor was Carl Sagan. From 1980 to 1983 she taught English at the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has been married to novelist Paul West since 1970. She currently resides in Ithaca, New York. A collection of her manuscripts, writings and papers (the Diane Ackerman Papers, 1971-1997--Collection No. 6299) is housed at the Cornell University Library.

Ackerman's book A Natural History of the Senses inspired the five-part Nova miniseries Mystery of the Senses, which she hosted.

Ackerman's awards and honors include: a Guggenheim Fellowship, the John Burroughs Nature Award, and the Lavan Poetry Prize. She was named a "Literary Lion" by the New York Public Library, and a molecule ("dianeackerone") has been named after her. [1] In 2008 she won the Orion Book Award for The Zookeeper's Wife.[2]

Selected bibliography

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Poetry

  • The Planets: A Cosmic Pastoral (1976)
  • Wife of Light (1978)
  • Lady Faustus (1983)
  • Reverse Thunder (verse play) (1988)
  • Jaguar of Sweet Laughter: New and Selected Poems (1991)
  • Nothing of Importance(1998)
  • The Senses of Animals (2000)
  • Origami Bridges (2002)

Non-Fiction

  • Twilight of the Tenderfoot (1980)
  • On Extended Wings (1985)
  • A Natural History of the Senses (1990)
  • The Moon by Whale Light, and Other Adventures Among Bats and Crocodilains, Penguins and Whales (1991)
  • A Natural History of Love (1994)
  • The Rarest of the Rare (1995)
  • A Slender Thread (1997)
  • Deep Play (1999)
  • Cultivating Delight (2002)
  • An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain (2004)
  • The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story (2007)
  • Dawn Light (2009)

Children's books

  • Monk Seal Hideaway (1995)
  • Bats: Shadows in the Night (1997)
  • Animal Sense (poetry) (2003)

Notes

  1. ^ [1]Diane Ackerman Web site, home page, accessed January 2, 2007
  2. ^ [2]Orion Magazine Web site, home page, accessed April 7, 2008

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Diane Ackerman (born 1948-10-07) is an American author, poet, and naturalist known best for her work A Natural History of the Senses. She has taught at various universities, including Columbia and Cornell, and her essays regularly appear in distinguished popular and literary journals.

Sourced

  • Human beings are sloshing sacks of chemicals on the move.
    • Source: An Alchemy of Mind: The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain; Simon & Schuster; 2004; ISBN 0743246721.

Unsourced

  • I don't want to be a passenger in my own life.
  • Look in the mirror. The face that pins you with its double gaze reveals a chastening secret.
  • It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.
  • There are well-dressed foolish ideas just as there are well-dressed fools.

External links

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