cover of book

Natural Coincidence: The Trip from Kalamazoo
by Bil Gilbert
University of Michigan Press, 2004
Cloth: 978-0-472-11409-2 | eISBN: 978-0-472-02546-6
Library of Congress Classification QH81.G482 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 508

Bil Gilbert is one of America's most preeminent and popular essayists and nature writers. If you've ever opened a copy of Smithsonian, Audubon, or Sports Illustrated magazines, you've likely come across an article by Gilbert. In the past four decades, more than 350 of his articles and essays have appeared in places ranging from Esquire to the New York Times.

Natural Coincidence collects some of Bil Gilbert's finest writing, covering a diverse range of subjects that include investigations of the biology of Tasmanian devils, the lives and loves of snapping turtles, and an appreciation of the intelligence of crows. Perfectly suiting this eclectic choice of angles is Gilbert's unique writing style, a blend of unprepossessing erudition, wit, and honesty that has been compared to Aldo Leopold's Sand County Almanac.

The collection opens with a memoir of a childhood Christmas in western Michigan, before Gilbert's fascination with the natural world drew him to more exotic locales like Tasmania, Alaska, Nova Scotia, and Manhattan to write about such topics as the javelina, bigfoot, buffalo, and ringtails.

"More than 50 years ago," writes Gilbert, "without a clear notion about why or where I was going, I set off on a trip from Kalamazoo, Michigan. I am still traveling toward an unknown destination. But along the way, much more for reasons of good luck than thoughtful planning, I have met many wonderful beings and happenings. The essays appearing in Natural Coincidence represent an attempt to describe some of these wonders. I like to think, or at least pretend, that the inspiration for and theme of this book is gratitude."

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