At Home with Literati: Cynthia Barnett

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 7:00pm

We're pleased to welcome Cynthia Barnett to our At Home with Literati Series in support of The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans. She'll be in conversation with Jennifer Skene.

Click here to join the webinar event on 8/24. No pre-registration required!

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Seashells have been the most coveted and collected of nature's creations since the dawn of humanity. They were money before coins, jewelry before gems, art before canvas.

In The Sound of the Sea, acclaimed environmental author Cynthia Barnett blends cultural history and science to trace our long love affair with seashells and the hidden lives of the mollusks that make them. Spiraling out from the great cities of shell that once rose in North America to the warming waters of the Maldives and the slave castles of Ghana, Barnett has created an unforgettable account of the world's most iconic seashells. She begins with their childhood wonder, unwinds surprising histories like the origin of Shell Oil as a family business importing exotic shells, and charts what shells and the soft animals that build them are telling scientists about our warming, acidifying seas.

From the eerie calls of early shell trumpets to the evolutionary miracle of spines and spires and the modern science of carbon capture inspired by shell, Barnett circles to her central point of listening to nature's wisdom--and acting on what seashells have to say about taking care of each other and our world.

Cynthia Barnett is the author of three previous books, including Rain, which was longlisted for the National Book Award and named a finalist for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing. She lives with her family in Gainesville, Florida, where she is also Environmental Journalist in Residence at the University of Florida.

Jennifer Skene is the Natural Climate Solutions Policy Manager with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Canada Project and a Clinical Lecturer in Law with the Environmental Protection Clinic at Yale. Her work focuses on policy advocacy around primary forest protection in the Canadian boreal and other Northern forests, forest carbon accounting and regulation, and Indigenous rights. Jennifer co-hosts the Yale University podcast “When We Talk About Animals,” through which she explores with guests the astonishing non-human world and the reflections, lessons, and insights it provides on our own humanity. She received a J.D. from Yale Law School and 2014 and holds a B.S. in Communication from Northwestern University.

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The Sound of the Sea: Seashells and the Fate of the Oceans Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393651447
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 6th, 2021