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A Novel

Edward O. Wilson (Author, Harvard University)

Overview | Formats

The two-time Pulitzer Prize–winning biologist delivers “an astonishing literary achievement” (Anthony Gottlieb, The Economist).

Winner of the 2010 Heartland Prize, Anthill follows the thrilling adventures of a modern-day Huck Finn, enthralled with the “strange, beautiful, and elegant” world of his native Nokobee County. But as developers begin to threaten the endangered marshlands around which he lives, the book’s hero decides to take decisive action. Edward O. Wilson—the world’s greatest living biologist—elegantly balances glimpses of science with the gripping saga of a boy determined to save the world from its most savage ecological predator: man himself.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • April 2011
  • ISBN 978-0-393-33970-3
  • 5.6 × 8.3 in / 378 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverAnthill: A Novel


Endorsements & Reviews

“Melville gave us whales and obsessions, Orwell gave us pigs and politicians. Now Wilson.... carries the reader down the ant-hole to describe life from the ants' point of view.... His language achieves poetic transcendence.” — Barbara Kingsolver, The New York Times Book Review

“Starred Review. A foremost authority on ants, an eloquent environmentalist, and the winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for his exceptional nonfiction, Wilson has written a debut novel of astonishing dimension, acuity, and spirit.... With lyrical exactitude, empathy for all life, and a shocking conclusion, Wilson's wise, provocative novel of the interaction between humankind and the rest of nature expresses a resonant earth ethic.” — Donna Seaman, Booklist

“Starred Review: Lush with organic details, Wilson’s keen eye for the natural world and his acumen for environmental science is on brilliant display in this multifaceted story about human life and its connection to nature.” — Publishers Weekly

“One part of Anthill, by the world’s leading myrmecologist, demonstrates that in Mr Wilson ants have found not only their Darwin but also their Homer.... The tale within a tale is an astonishing literary achievement; nobody but Mr Wilson could have written it, and those who read it will tread lightly in the forest, at least for a while.... his evocation of their ways is a more powerful tool for raising ecological awareness than any Disneyfication is likely to be.” — The Economist

“Edward O. Wilson had a fine time writing his first novel.... The reader will have a great time reading it. Certainly I did.” — Margaret Atwood, New York Review of Books

“The savage conflicts between the Trailhead and Waterside colonies are as dramatic as any epic of Herodotus or Thucydides, histories Wilson evokes in his characterization of the tiny warriors as myrmidons and hoplites.” — Harvey Freedenberg, Shelf Awareness

“If you've ever wondered what it would be like to be reincarnated as an ant, this is probably the best description available.” — Nicholas Wade, The New York Times

“Wilson’s foray into fiction allows him to write more expressively, psychologically, even spiritually about the great web of life, humankind included, and the irrefutable rules for ecological survival. ... A teacher as well as a scientist, Wilson uses the prism of fiction to cast new light on the grand unifying lesson of nature: all of us earthlings, all of life’s astonishing creations, thrive or fail together.” — Donna Seaman, Chicago Tribune

“The astute, knowledgeable, amazing structure of Anthill is a masterpiece of craft, a fictional embodiment of the ant.” — Sue Brannon Walker, Poet Laureate of Alabama, Alabama Press-Register

“[A] beautifully written coming-of-age novel about a young boy in Alabama. The highly respected author and entomologist may be sneaking some science down the throats of self-respecting fiction readers everywhere with the tale of a boy-turned-environmental lawyer who tries to save wildlife, but we hardly mind.” — The Daily Beast

“A triumphant epic of life by the world’s greatest naturalist. This is War and Peace—among the ants, the land developers, and the environmentalists and preachers. Marvel at E. O. Wilson’s wondrous and captivating creation.” — Jeffrey D. Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute

“The South suddenly has a surprising new hero, and his name is Raff Cody....In Edward Wilson's remarkable voice, Anthill becomes an inspirational novel for us all.” — Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump

“If Edward O. Wilson were actually an ant, he'd be the warrior and the drone and the queen and everyone else too. Anthill will remind people of all of his gifts and introduce them to some new ones!” — Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

Also by Edward O. Wilson All

  1. Book CoverThe Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth


  2. Book CoverFrom So Simple a Beginning: Darwin's Four Great Books

    Slipcased Edition / Hardcover

  3. Book CoverThe Leafcutter Ants: Civilization by Instinct


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