The 2007 book The Zookeeper's Wife by naturalist, poet and author Diane Ackerman has been adapted for the big screen. The movie release is a great reason to learn more about this singular talent. Ackerman's beautiful blend of imagery and lush descriptions are perfectly balanced with science and fact. First her language will take your breath away, and then you'll realize you learned something—on anything from bats to neuroscience. Although she has written on many different topics throughout her career, the relationship between humans and nature is always at the center of her writing.
Her most recent title, 2014's The Human Age is a wide-ranging look at the ways humans shape our planet. She examines our new reality but also finds inspiration in the creativity used to change our path. These compelling examples may make you feel hopeful, too.
One Hundred Names for Love is about the human brain and the limits of medicine, but also about a love with no limits. It's a very personal memoir of her husband's a stroke, and the fight to get him back the gift of language.
One of the first Ackerman titles I ever read perfectly showcases her style and voice. A Natural History of the Senses investigates all five senses, offering lessons in history, biology and philosophy. It's hard to explain, but it all adds up to something unforgettable.
The director of The Zookeeper's Wife, Niki Caro, has experience bringing books to life on the big screen. She also directed Whale Rider, based on The Whale Rider, and North Country, based on Class Action.