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What critics are saying about What Species of Creatures:
"Can't say enough about it. I'm not even halfway through, but couldn't wait to recommend it."
"A lively—and deadly—chronicle of first encounters between the New World's early settlers and this continent's lesser beasts. Seldom has scholarship been served up with such delectable charm and saucy wit. An original—I loved every page."
—Sylvia Fraser, writer
"The time Kirsch spent with primary sources is demonstrated . . . in her revealing and often humorous citations."
THE BEAVER, JUNE/JULY 2009
"The author's own background as an accomplished travel writer, coupled with an irrepressible wit, brightens the pages and delights the reader time and again . . . a new, forgiving, and creative way to look at the human-animal adventure. It's bound to make you smile."
" . . . tightly argued and beautifully written. . . . Often adopting the perspective of the animal, Kirsch casts an unusual, extremely perceptive light, somehow redolent of Enlightenment's sharpness and lucidity, on the settlers' life and customs."
—F. Fasce, University of Genoa, Italy
"Intriguing . . . an incisive, passionate challenge to us to re-examine our relationships with the other animals, who (yes, who) maintain their precarious existences alongside the juggernaut of humanity."
"A writer doing a strain of cultural anthropology she may have invented all on her own. . . . There's something remarkable and unsettling going on here. . . . The result is fascinating and informative. . . . tremendous fun to read."
"Kirsch's research includes a deep collection of primary sources and a reinterpretation of some traditional documents in early Canadian history that sheds new light on human-animal relations during this period."
—Sean Kheraj, Department of History, University of British Columbia
"This book is like no other I know, an imaginative assemblage of intriguing material on human and animal lives, woven together seamlessly to create mysterious tales. Sharon Kirsch has produced a unique, scholarly, and engaging chronicle of the early encounters between Europeans and the New World animals."
—Lynette Hart, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis
"A magical treasure. . . . Kirsch fills our minds and imaginations with the creatures that fascinated Canada's early settlers. She encourages us to slow down to appreciate the magical in the seemingly mundane, the new in the old, and the extraordinary in the ordinary."
What Species of Creatures is recommended by Canada's National History Society and CBC Radio's Cross Country Checkup Christmas Reading List 2009.