Award-winning author Thomas McNamee will read from his latest work of nonfiction, The Inner Life of Cats: The Science and Secrets of Our Mysterious Feline Companions, at Elk River Books, 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 8.
McNamee received a Guggenheim fellowship for his work on this book, in which he uses the life and development of his own cat, a tabby named Augusta, blended with scientific reportage to explore the natural history of domestic cats and their relationship to human society.
As the narrative progresses, McNamee charts cats’ evolution, explores a feral cat colony in Rome, tells the story of Augusta’s life and adventures, and consults with behavioral experts, animal activists, and researchers, to help readers more fully understand cats.
Kirkus Reviews calls it “An affectionate yet realistic portrait of felis silvestris catus and a definite boon to anyone contemplating adopting a cat.” Cat Warren, author of the bestselling book, What the Dog Knows, says that “The Inner Life of Cats is filled with shining prose, moments of sheer cat joy—and intimate, careful scientific observation. Thomas McNamee’s naturalist’s eye, combined with his humor and heart, bring the always wild, yet domesticated cat into delightful, insightful focus.”
McNamee’s previous books are far ranging, from biographies of American food pioneers Alice Waters and Craig Claiborne, to fiction, to environmental politics and natural history. He’s the author of The Grizzly Bear, The Return of the Wolf to Yellowstone, A Story of Deep Delight, and Nature First: Keeping Our Wild Places and Wild Creatures Wild. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Audubon, Natural History, The Washington Post and The New York Times, among other publications.
The reading is free and open to the public. It will take place upstairs at Elk River Books, 120 N. Main St., and will be followed by a signing and reception.