animals strike curious poses
Beginning with Yuka, a 39,000-year-old mummified woolly mammoth recently found in the Siberian permafrost, each of these sixteen essays investigates a different famous animal named and immortalized by humans. Modeled loosely after a medieval bestiary, these essays traverse history, myth, science, and more, bringing each beast vibrantly to life.
Praise for Animals Strike Curious Poses:
I’ve spent decades reading books on the roles animals play in human cultures, but none have ever made me think, and feel, as much as this one. It’s a devastating meditation on our relationship to the natural world. It might be the best book on animals I’ve ever read. It’s also the only one that’s made me laugh out loud. - Helen Macdonald, the New York Times Book Review
"Passarello’s keen wit is on display throughout as she raises questions about the uniqueness of humans. Perhaps the most stunning work is her bricolage timeline of murderous elephants in America, which aligns their crimes and executions with the rise of electricity and capital punishment. The entire collection satisfies through a feast of surprising juxtapositions and gorgeous prose." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)
let me clear my throat
The essays in this collection dissect the whys and hows of popular voices, making them hum with significance and emotion. There’s Dean’s scream, Brando’s “Stella,” and a yawp that has made cameos in movies from A Star is Born to Spaceballs. The voice is thought’s incarnating instrument and Let Me Clear My Throat is the annotated soundtrack of us giving voice to ourselves.
Praise for Let Me Clear My Throat:
The beauty of Elena Passarello's voice is that it's so confidently its own. She's not selling her subjects. She writes with the kind of calm assumption of interest you make in a good friend (if a good listener) over dinner. But what she's saying is always unexpected, and full of information. I began randomly with her essay wondering what the space aliens will make of ‘Johnny B. Goode’ on the Voyager gold record, and couldn't stop after that.” - John Jeremiah Sullivan
With her extraordinary powers of listening, Elena Passarello helps us hear the sorrow, the epiglottis, and the Allegheny River in the many wondrous things the voice can do besides talking. - Amy Leach
In this funny, visceral collection of essays, Passarello explores the ways our voices can entertain us, connect us, ruin us, vent our pains, and tether us to a place or tradition. - Publishers Weekly