Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses by Robin Wall Kimmerer


Bookseller review by Diane:

You might think you have no interest in moss but this is nothing like as dry as the title suggests! In this wonderfully thoughtful book Robin Wall Kimmerer uses her passion and knowledge of mosses to focus from these most minute things to the whole world and our place in it. You almost forget you’re reading and learning about mosses!

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Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses.

In these interwoven essays, Robin Wall Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings. Kimmerer explains the biology of mosses clearly and artfully, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us.

Drawing on her experiences as a scientist, a mother, and a Native American, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as within the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world.