"The Song of the Dodo," winner of the John Burroughs Medal and the Helen Bernstein Award, is this year's pick for MacReads, a series of community readings by book clubs, reading groups and classes throughout Yamhill County. Quammen's appearance is a culmination of the reading. "The Song of the Dodo" offers lessons of island biogeography the study of the distribution of species on islands and island-like patches of landscape to modern ecosystem decay. It provides insight into the origin and extinction of species and the future of the world.
Quammen is a former Rhodes Scholar and a three-time winner of the National Magazine Award for his National Geographic essay Was Darwin Wrong? and for his science and nature columns in Outside Magazine, which he wrote from 1981-1995. He has also written for Harpers, Rolling Stone and the New York Times Book Review. In addition to "The Song of the Dodo," Quammen has published eight other books, including "Monster of God," a look at the increasing plight of man-eating predators.
A reception, featuring music by the Rendezvous String Band, will be held in Ford Hall following the reading. Quammen will also be available to sign books.
Quammen will be the first Renshaw Distinguished Visitor, under the newly established Philip Renshaw Endowment for the Liberal Arts. The endowment was established by Renshaw, a Linfield alumnus and former trustee and one of the college's most avid supporters.
The reading, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Friends of Nicholson Library, Friends of McMinnville Public Library and the Linfield English Department.