In this riveting collection of stories and essays, gifted scientist, anthropologist, and writer Wade Davis offers a captivating look at indigenous cultures around the world--from the nomadic Penan of Malaysia to the Vodoun practitioners of Haiti--and a poetic, timely examination of the rapport between humans and the natural world. Traveling from the mountains of Tibet to the jungles of the Amazon, Davis delves into the mysteries of shamanic healing, experiences first-hand hallucinogenic plants, explores the vanishing Borneo rain forests, and describes the ingenuity of the Inuit as they hunt narwhale on the Arctic ice.
A compelling and utterly unique celebration of the beauty and diversity of our planet, Shadows in the Sun is about landscape and character, the wisdom of lives drawn directly from the land, and the hunger of those who seek to rediscover such understanding. Davis shows that preserving the diversity of the world's cultures and spiritual beliefs is as important as preserving endangered plants and animals--and vital to our understanding of who we are.
Davis...writes with great authority, taking readers on journeys deep into territories where the boundaries between science and magic seem to meet and dissolve. His essays are full of facts, of intelligent and authoritative reporting on scenes of international intrigue and adventure. They read like fiction thrillers, except that the sinister goings-on in these accounts are true".- The San Francisco Examiner
"Essays so sensitively written that their pristine language reflects the spectacular beauty of the landscape they describe...Davis deftly illuminates the little understood connection between biodiversity and culturaly diversity, and strongly suggests that more be done to preserve what's left of wilderness." - Booklist
"Delightful...Shadows in the Sun...is an educational, entertaining miscellany of hard science and weird science" - Outside
"The wonders of the diversity of various cultures are hunter, gathered, and appreciated here...Davis's lovely, cubist, rich landscape portraits are topographies of spirit, conveying a sense of the music of place." - Kirkus Reviews