“A poet celebrates the wonders of nature in a collection of essays that could almost serve as a coming-of-age memoir.” —Kirkus Reviews
As a child, Nezhukumatathil called many places home: the grounds of a Kansas mental institution, where her Filipina mother was a doctor; the open skies and tall mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her Indian father; and the chillier climes of western New York and Ohio. But no matter where she was transplanted—no matter how awkward the fit or forbidding the landscape—she was able to turn to our world’s fierce and funny creatures for guidance.
“What the peacock can do,” she tells us, “is remind you of a home you will run away from and run back to all your life.” The axolotl teaches us to smile, even in the face of unkindness; the touch-me-not plant shows us how to shake off unwanted advances; the narwhal demonstrates how to survive in hostile environments. Even in the strange and the unlovely, Nezhukumatathil finds beauty and kinship. For it is this way with wonder: it requires that we are curious enough to look past the distractions in order to fully appreciate the world’s gifts.
Warm, lyrical, and gorgeously illustrated by Fumi Nakamura, World of Wonders is a book of sustenance and joy.
Praise for World of Wonders
Barnes & Noble 2020 Book of the Year
An NPR Best Book of 2020
An Esquire Best Book of 2020
A Publishers Weekly “Big Indie Book of Fall 2020”
A BuzzFeed Best Book of Fall 2020
“Hands-down one of the most beautiful books of the year.” —NPR
“A timely story about love, identity and belonging.” —New York Times Book Review
“A truly wonderous essay collection.” —Roxane Gay, The Audacity