Non-Fiction Books:

Slender Thread


Paperback / softback

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Slender Thread by Diane Ackerman

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Diane Ackermann volunteers every week at a local crisis center, where people call in anonymously, strung out, desperate, imploring, or hostile, holding on to hope through a phone line. Her secret life spent with callers is shocking, funny, stressful, healing, and inspiring. So, too, is her life in her backyard where the wild creatures she observes so closely are living their own lives on the edge. In her distinctive style she weaves these parallel threads into a book that is an astonishment. Using powerful stories of the human spirit set against a backdrop of the natural world she knows so well, Ackerman takes us with her on her travels between those intensely fascinating realms. A Slender Thread is bewitchingly like her previous, widely admired books. As ever, she is sensitive to her surroundings and to other creatures; poetic, passionate, amusing; blessed with a richly furnished mind that makes leaps of imagination and insight; adept at drawing on science, literature, history, psychology, and the immediate moment - and yet this book is dramatically different from the rest of her writing. Deeply personal and intimate, it merges her own story with the stories of others, and shares her private struggles and triumphs as well as her joyous immersion in life. We learn why many hummingbirds die in their sleep, of a distraught caller whose drunken husband is stuck in the chimney singing Irish songs, of animal suicides, of an eighty-five-year-old belly dancer, of a young woman who flees her marriage and spins an elaborate fantasy life in which she captains a team of superheroes who travel the world righting its many wrongs, of the evolution of depression and anxiety as well as of our mostcherished emotions, of Winston Churchill's horrifying secret, of the beauty of shade, of the hidden costs of creativity, and hundreds of other truths about being human. In the course of a year, almost everything dangerous or poignant that can happen to human beings prompts as call to

Author Biography

Diane Ackerman has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in addition to garnering many other awards and recognitions for her work, which include the bestselling The Zookeeper's Wife and A Natural History of the Senses. She lives in Ithaca, New York.
Release date NZ
May 1st, 1998
Country of Publication
United States
Vintage Books
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