Zooburbia: Meditations on the Wild Animals Among Us

Tai Moses. Parallax, $14.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-937006-67-9
In this series of ruminative essays, Moses introduces readers to the concept of "zooburbia," the name she ascribes to the "extraordinary, unruly, half-wild realm where human and animal lives overlap." The setting is frequently the author's home, a "woodsy ravine" in Oakland she sought out after a smog-drenched childhood in Los Angeles. Moses comments on the fragility of ecosystems and notes that she swapped her vegetable garden for native plants that attract more wildlife, suggesting that readers do the same. She discusses the usefulness of all creatures, from common pests to simple goldfish to meddlesome moles. Nature's "pitiless indifference to suffering," causes occasional heartache—including a baby raccoon too ill to be saved and a doomed flightless jay—and a common theme throughout is what Moses considers our responsibility toward the animals around us as well as the helplessness that often accompanies intervention. There are also more affirming essays that concern lessons on mindfulness, such as her story of a reflective ride on an Icelandic horse. Moses captures "the human desire to form an emotional bond with other creatures" and its nuanced shades of both glory and misery. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/26/2014
Release date: 05/01/2014
Ebook - 132 pages - 978-1-937006-68-6
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