ABOUT THIS BOOK
Living work of art, consumer commodity, scientific hero, and environmental menace: the humble goldfish is the ultimate human cultural artifact. A creature of supposedly little memory and a short lifespan, it has held universal appeal as a reservoir for human ideas and ideals. In ancient China, goldfish were saved from predators in acts of religious reverence and selectively bred for their glittering grace. In the East, they became the subject of exquisite art, regarded as living flowers that moved, while in the West, they became ubiquitous residents of the Victorian parlor. Cheap and eminently available, today they are bred by the millions for the growing domestic pet market, while also proving to be important to laboratory studies of perception, vision, and intelligence.
In this illuminating homage to the goldfish, Anna Marie Roos blends art and science to trace the surprising and intriguing history of this much-loved animal, challenging our cultural preconceptions of a creature often thought to be common and disposable.