Diane Ackerman has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in addition to garnering many other awards and recognitions for her work, which include the bestselling The Zookeeper's Wife and A Natural History of the Senses. She lives in Ithaca, New York.
The five senses not only serve biological functions, they also are inextricably a part of our culture. Award-winning poet Ackerman celebrates the senses by examining their biological bases and the various and bizarre ways we have come to indulge them. Her catalog of the senses is itself a sensuous journey, with prose rich in imagery and rhythm. Ackerman's book is a provocative and entertaining treat whose details will bestir the reader's imagination. Consider, for example, the guest whose pleasure for fragrance led to an untimely death in a shower of rose petals at a Roman feast, or the diner whose thrill at exciting the palate proved deadly upon tasting the poisonous puffer fish. Unlike the fish, this savory delight is recommended for general readers.-- Laurie Bartolini, Lincoln Lib., Springfield, Ill.
YA-- An exciting multidiscipline book that crosses the lines of literature, history, anthropology, music, psychology, sociology, and philosophy and that flows with grace and reason. The theme is expressed in such a way as to draw readers into experiential thought and, therefore, impacts heavily upon the way one looks at the issue of sensing and its role for humanity. It is sure to raise readers' consciousness level while providing researched and analyzed information on this topic. In addition, the language is clear and concise, which makes the book valuable to a large cross section of readers. The generous use of cultural and historical examples adds to the readability.-- Nancy Craig, R. E. Lee High School, Springfield, VA