Author, biologist to read from book about feathers

Thor HansonThor Hanson, author and biologist, will present a reading from his newest book, “Feathers: the Evolution of a Natural Miracle,” on Monday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Austin Reading Room in Nicholson Library at Linfield College.

In his book, Hanson discusses feathers from multiple perspectives and portrays them as an evolutionary marvel. He highlights the natural history of feathers, as they have been used to fly, protect, attract and decorate culture since the beginning of their existence. He will also explore what these objects mean to society.

Hanson applies the research of paleontologists, ornithologists, biologists, engineers and art historians in his book. His research has made him an expert in the cultural, natural and scientific history of feathers.

Jeff Baker of The Oregonian wrote “The Oregon bird-watching community will love this book, and so will anyone else interested in an object that has captured our imaginations and helped us write and fish and sleep and do just about everything but fly.”

Hanson was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and currently resides on the San Juan Islands with his wife and son. In addition to writing books, Hanson works as a conservation biologist and is a member of the Human Ecosystems Study Group. His efforts in conservation have taken him from Uganda to Alaska and Central America to Tanzania. His first book, “The Impenetrable Forest: My Gorilla Years in Uganda,” earned him the 2008 USA Book News Award for nature writing.

The reading is free, open to the public and sponsored by Nicholson Library and the Linfield English Department. For more information contact Susan Barnes Whyte at or 503-883-2517.