ELIZABETH MARSHALL THOMAS
One of the world’s most widely read authors on anthropology and animals, wild and domestic, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas has observed dogs, cats, elephants, and human animals during her half-century-long career, all of which was inspired by her lengthy trips to Africa as a young woman. Her many books include The Hidden Life of Dogs, The Social Lives of Dogs, The Tribe of Tiger, The Old Way and The Hidden Life of Deer. Elizabeth will read from her recently published memoir, Dreaming of Lions. The critically praised new work traces Thomas’ life from her earliest days, including when, as a young woman in the 1950s, she and her family packed up and left for the Kalahari Desert to study the Ju/Wa Bushmen. The world’s understanding of African tribal cultures has never been the same since. Nor has Thomas, as the experience taught her not only how to observe, but also how to navigate in male-dominated fields like anthropology and animal science and do what she cared about most: spending time with animals and people in wild places and relishing the people and animals around her at home. Readers join Thomas as she returns to Africa, after college and marriage, with her two young children, ending up in the turmoil leading to Idi Amin’s bloody coup. She invites us into her family life, her writing, and her fascination with animals—from elephants in Namibia, to dogs in her kitchen, or cougars outside her New England farmhouse. She also recounts her personal struggles, writing about her own life with the same kind of fierce honesty that she applies to the world around her, and delivering a memoir that not only shares tremendous insights but also provides tremendous inspiration. She lives in Peterborough, New Hampshire.