Brave the Wild River: The Untold Story of Two Women Who Mapped the Botany of the Grand Canyon

Product Details
$30.00  $27.90
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.28 X 9.3 X 1.07 inches | 1.1 pounds

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About the Author
Melissa L. Sevigny is a science journalist at KNAU (Arizona Public Radio). She has worked in water policy, sustainable agriculture, and space exploration, and is the author of Under Desert Skies and Mythical River. She lives in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Melissa Sevigny, a rising star in science writing, has written a captivating book that journeys through the American West in company of two intrepid women botanists. This is a book celebrating women in science, particularly those adventurers who defied the bounds imposed on their gender to encounter the natural world in its wild power and beauty. This book redefines the Grand Canyon not as testing ground for masculine virility but as proving ground for women's tenacity and intelligence. Brave the Wild River, filled with adventure and fresh seeing, makes a superb contribution to literature of the American West.--Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of A Woven World
Melissa Sevigny embroiders the Grand Canyon with plants who become as much characters as the people. She tells a ripping story, full of heart and grit, and a river readers will take in the teeth.--Craig Childs, author of Atlas of a Lost World
Brave the Wild River is everything a book should be, at once a biography, a thriller, and a vivid piece of science writing. In Melissa L. Sevigny's breathtaking prose, the legendary Grand Canyon comes alive in honey mesquite, riparian forests, and desert blooms. Sevigny defines the wild as a 'place that changes us, ' and she has written a book that is destined to permanently alter the way you see the world.--Nathalia Holt, best-selling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls
Melissa L. Sevigny unfurls one of the finest river stories of the Grand Canyon while presenting a long overdue, richly deserved, and beautifully written tribute to a pair of legendary botanists who peeled back the petals of a mysterious, intoxicating landscape and made it blossom with new knowledge and wonder.--Kevin Fedarko, author of The Emerald Mile
Whip-smart, funny, meticulously researched, and beautifully written, Brave the Wild River is required reading for anyone interested in the Grand Canyon, river running, or the ingenuity of plants. It examines the challenges women in science faced in the 1930s--and still face today--but above all it's a story about what it means to risk everything, to follow your heart into the great unknown.--Ash Davidson, author of Damnation Spring
Telling the story of Elzada Clover and Lois Jotter's expedition in vivid, riveting detail, Melissa L. Sevigny makes the Colorado River's Grand Canyon ecosystem come alive. At a time when the Colorado River is at a crisis point, Brave the Wild River provides a captivating narrative of Clover and Jotter's important scientific contributions along with fascinating historical details.--Christie Aschwanden, best-selling author of Good to Go
What a joy to venture down the canyons with two new heroines so ahead of their time. A remarkable tale masterfully told. I loved every page.--Florence Williams, author of The Nature Fix
A beautiful tribute to two pioneering women of science.-- "Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"
[Melissa L. Sevigny is] a spellbinding writer of informed and ardent attentiveness, wit, and empathy...A breath-catching, enlightening, and significant work of scientific, environmental, and women's history.-- "Booklist (starred review)"
[A] marvelous history...Drawing on Clover and Jotter's journals and letters, Sevigny recreates their expedition in novelistic detail, producing a narrative as propulsive as the current of the Colorado. Readers will be swept away.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)"
Thrilling, expertly paced, warmhearted, [Brave the Wild River is] at once an adventure tale and a dual biography of two unusually determined, capable heroines...[L]yrical and lovely.--Peter Fish "San Francisco Chronicle"
A page-turner in the adventure genre that also conveys rich detail about plant ecology of the US Southwest, sexism in science, and ethical issues in environmental science, the book is a marvelous and informative read.--Barbara J. King "Science"
[A] cascade of a story, colored by sun and water and driven by courage and determination.--Deborah Blum "New York Times Book Review"
Brave the Wild River...highlights the little-known contributions two women made to our knowledge about the Southwest ecology. And it pays homage to a pair of scientists far ahead of their time.--Anita Snow "Associated Press"
Gripping...A vivid history of two female botanists who set off in 1938 to explore the Grand Canyon.-- "People Magazine"