Brittany's Reviews > Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild

Eating Stone by Ellen Meloy
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's review
Jun 12, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: sciencewriting, wildlife, favorites
Read in June, 2008

I find sheep to be dull creatures. I say this as a dedicated conservationist, and one who firmly believes that all organisms have an innate right to exist, or at least to exist for as long as they can in the bloodthirsty battlefield of natural selection.

But Meloy writes about her bighorns with such unstinting love, and such poetry, that it becomes impossible not to fall in love with them yourself. Her avowed adoration of wild things is apparent in the way she describes a group of bighorns dozing lazily in the sunshine, and in tautly written action scenes where she deliberately upsets an Edenic scene of resting Canada geese to keep them away from (or at least give them a fighting chance against) early morning hunters.

I am sad that we lost Meloy so early, and with so many of her books unwritten. If this an The Anthropology of Turquoise are anything to judge by, she was a gift to the world of nature writing. As it is, I will think of her, and the sheep now every time I look at the hoofstock at the National Zoo. And I will feel more warmly towards them, because she loved them and shared that love with me.
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