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Dawn Light

Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day

Diane Ackerman (Author)


A celebrated storyteller-poet-naturalist explores a year of dawns in her most personal book to date.

In an eye-opening sequence of personal meditations through the cycle of seasons, Diane Ackerman awakens us to the world at dawn—drawing on sources as diverse as meteorology, world religion, etymology, art history, poetry, organic farming, and beekeeping. As a patient and learned observer of animal and human physiology and behavior, she introduces us to varieties of bird music and other signs of avian intelligence, while she herself “migrates” from winter in Florida to spring, summer, and fall in upstate New York.

Humans might luxuriate in the idea of being “in” nature, Ackerman points out, but we often forget that we are nature—for “no facet of nature is as unlikely as we, the tiny bipeds with the giant dreams.” Joining science’s devotion to detail with religion’s appreciation of the sublime, Dawn Light is an impassioned celebration of the miracles of evolution—especially human consciousness of our numbered days on a turning earth.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • September 2009
  • ISBN 978-0-393-06173-4
  • 5.9 × 8.6 in / 256 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverDawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day


Endorsements & Reviews

“[Y]ou're immersed in Ackerman's glorious prose, studded with arresting phrases and breathtakingly beautiful images....Her gift to us is the sheer pleasure of seeing the world through her loving eyes.” — Wendy Smith, Washington Post

“Starred Review. These pieces are accessible and lyrically written, and they flow well, one after another, making reading the book a true pleasure. Ackerman's fans and readers who appreciate nature writing at its finest will love this.” — Library Journal

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