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ECW Press Spring 2022 Trade

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  • Reading Levels

    Lexile measure: 1180L
  • Sales Rights

    For sale with exclusive rights in: WORLD
  • Supply Detail

    Distributor: Jaguar Book Group Availability: Available Expected Ship Date: May 03, 2022 On Sale Date: May 24, 2022 Carton Quantity: 24 $28.95 CAD
  • Supply Detail

    Distributor: BTPS Availability: Available Expected Ship Date: May 03, 2022 On Sale Date: May 24, 2022 Carton Quantity: 24 $22.95 USD
  • Catalogues

Woman, Watching
Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay
By (author): Merilyn Simonds
Merilyn Simonds

Imprint:

ECW Press - Toronto

ISBN:

9781770416598

Product Form:

Paperback

Form detail:

Flaps
Paperback , Flaps
English

Audience:

General Trade
May 24, 2022
$28.95 CAD
Active

Dimensions:

8.5in x 5.5 x 1.02 in | 1.27 lb

Page Count:

416 pages
ECW Press
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Environmentalists & Naturalists
Biography: science, technology and medicine|History of the Americas|Wildlife: birds and birdwatching: general interest
Ontario
  • Short Description
A woman of the Swedish aristocracy loses her young husband in the Russian revolution and finds her way to northern Ontario to work as a nurse for the Dionne Quintuplets before discovering a deep love of the birds that live on her handful of acres. She creates longitudinal behavior and population studies that are still used by Ornithologists today.

From award-winning author Merilyn Simonds, a remarkable biography of an extraordinary woman — a Swedish aristocrat who survived the Russian Revolution to become an internationally renowned naturalist, one of the first to track the mid-century decline of songbirds.

“[A] lyrical, passionate, and deeply researched portrait.” — Margaret Atwood

“This brilliant account does justice to a pioneering figure who merits wider recognition.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[A] marvelous biography of a true pioneer of ornithology.” — Booklist, starred review

Woman, Watching is an entrancing blend of biography, memoir, history, research, and homage that is unlike anything I’ve ever read. It’s radical, it’s ravishing.” — Kyo Maclear, author of Birds Art Life

Referred to as a Canadian Rachel Carson, Louise de Kiriline Lawrence lived and worked in an isolated log cabin near North Bay. After her husband was murdered by Bolsheviks, she refused her Swedish privilege and joined the Canadian Red Cross, visiting her northern Ontario patients by dogsled. When Elzire Dionne gave birth to five babies, Louise became nurse to the Dionne Quintuplets. Repulsed by the media circus, she retreated to her wilderness cabin, where she devoted herself to studying the birds that nested in her forest. Author of six books and scores of magazine stories, de Kiriline Lawrence and her “loghouse nest” became a Mecca for international ornithologists.

Lawrence was an old woman when Merilyn Simonds moved into the woods not far away. Their paths crossed, sparking Simonds’s lifelong interest. A dedicated birder, Simonds brings her own songbird experiences from Canadian nesting grounds and Mexican wintering grounds to this deeply researched, engaging portrait of a uniquely fascinating woman.

Sales and Market Bullets



  • A unique approach to a biography of an important Canadian naturalist, the biography is just as much about Lawrence’s birds as it is about Lawrence, and is timely for the rise in popularity of birding as a pastime. Lawrence is a well-loved figure in the birding world and an extraordinary contributor to scientific knowledge, a woman who deserves wider recognition.

  • Merilyn Simonds spent a decade researching Louise de Kiriline Lawrence’s life, and is a passionate birder herself.

  • At a time when the scientific establishment was obsessed with exotic birds, Lawrence focused on the birds that bred in her forest, and completed a famous seven-year study of woodpeckers. Ornithologists continue to use Lawrence’s studies as a baseline.

  • For readers of Shelley Emling’s The Fossil Hunter: Dinosaurs, Evolution, and the Woman Whose Discoveries Changed the World, and Charlotte Gray’s Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catherine Parr Traill, and other books that bring remarkable women out of the shadows of history and gives them their proper due. For bird-loving readers of Jennifer Ackerman’s The Bird Way (or her previous book, The Genius of Birds).



Audience



  • Readers of The New Yorker and Maclean’s

  • Members of art and culture groups like the Heliconian Society and the Arts and Letters Club

  • Retirees who audit university classes for fun

  • People interested in quirky Canadian history and looking for dinner party conversation topics

  • People interested in birding and the history of women in science

  • Readers of Graeme Gibson’s Bedside Book of Birds, H is for Hawk, Birds Art Life, and Bird Runner

  • Readers of Sisters in the Wilderness: The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catherine Parr Trail


Merilyn Simonds is the author of 18 books, including the non-fiction classic The Convict Lover, Gutenberg’s Fingerprint, and most recently, the novel Refuge. The founder and first artistic director of the Kingston WritersFest, Simonds is an influential champion of writers and writing. She lives with writer and translator Wayne Grady and divides her time between Kingston, Ontario, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

“Simonds’s prose shines and brings the reader into the remarkable moments bird-watchers live for. This brilliant account does justice to a pioneering figure who merits wider recognition.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Simonds’ own birding and life story are woven into the narrative, adding to the addictive quality of this marvelous biography of a true pioneer of ornithology.” — Booklist starred review

“A stellar, adventure-filled biography.” — Foreword Reviews

“What a life! Louise de Kiriline Lawrence escaped the Russian Revolution, was nurse to the Dionne Quintuplets, then moved to a log cabin and became an iconic birder and friend of Simonds, who has written this lyrical, passionate, and deeply researched portrait.” — Margaret Atwood

“Simonds — an author of both fiction and nonfiction, including The Convict Lover — is a master of her craft, and that’s clearly reflected in Woman, Watching. Her prose is rich and sprawling, spinning an in-depth narrative out of de Kiriline Lawrence’s life. Stepping into this story is like entering its subject’s beloved forest: there is always another layer, another secret path, another living, breathing thing left to discover. Woman, Watching is a book for long summer twilights or cold winter nights — preferably spent at a cottage or by an old stone fireplace. It’s the kind of book you’ll dive into only to shake your head a few chapters later and wonder where the day has gone. As with the woods, a reader can get lost in there if they’re not careful.” — Quill & Quire

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