ANIMAL ATTRACTION: The introduction begins with a quote from Bulgarian philosopher Elias Canetti. "History," he says, "talks too little about animals." This is an oversight local author and regular Weekly contributor Gregory McNamee sets to rights with an engaging book of essays called A Desert Bestiary--Folklore, Literature and Ecological Thought from the World's Dry Places. Following the model of the medieval Latin bestiaries, which were collections of moralizing tales about real and mythical animals, McNamee has ferreted out myriad literary and scientific references, newspaper articles, indigenous folk tales and other arcane sources to bring 45 desert creatures to life. From Mark Twain's indictment of the deceptive ant to the pious tale of an eastern Saharan hyena, as told by one monk in the Lives of the Desert Fathers, McNamee's well-chosen anecdotes offer new perspectives on creatures great and small: from bat to blowfly, camel to coatimundi, hippopotamus to hummingbird, termite to turkey vulture. It's difficult to find an informative, easy-to-read reference inspiring a sense of wonder and humor about the desert. A Desert Bestiary is such a book, ideal for shared reading among animal enthusiasts of all ages.
The author reads from and signs copies of A Desert Bestiary ($14.95) from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, November 16, at The Book Mark, 5001 E. Speedway. For information call 881-6350.
The site includes three different ongoing series of interactive fiction: "The Spot," "The Pyramid" and "EON-4," respectively sexy, corporate and, well, from outer space. If you've got the hardware, check it out. But even the desktop-challenged can get the skinny in print with The Spot ($12.95, Simon & Schuster), by R. Collins, a paperback history of the original cybersoap.
IT's "Classic Christie Mistrie," about a group of strangers stranded on a dark, snowy night in a New England boarding house, continues with performances through December 1 at Invisible Theatre, 1400 N. First Ave. The Falk presentation and booksigning is free and open to all, and begins at approximately 9:30 p.m. Call 882-9721 for information.
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