“Pulitzer Prize–winning naturalist and Harvard professor Wilson (On Human Nature
) and acclaimed photographer and Duke University professor Harris (River of Traps
) team up to convey the spirit of Mobile, Ala., through text and images. Wilson writes of his childhood in Mobile and recounts the complicated heritage of his hometown in a sprawling essay that weaves personal, social, economic, political, and natural history.... Harris’s intimate pictures beautifully capture quotidian moments, offering a context for the diverse characters, lush landscapes, and events, traumatic and joyful, that define Mobile today: a high school football team marches arm-in-arm; a tiger swallowtail hesitates in a verdant meadow; a Civil War re-enactor poses with Confederate memorabilia; two outstretched arms, one black and one white, point toward the infinity of the Gulf of Mexico’s horizon. A hybrid document meant to be as much about “the meaning of place as it is about a place itself,” the book is a thoughtful meditation on community and storytelling that reminds us we will never understand ourselves until we know where we come from.” (Publishers Weekly)
“The great naturalist E. O. Wilson, who grew up in Mobile, and the photographer Alex Harris evoke and explore that exceptional city and its surroundings… The upshot, revealed in this uncommonly effective marriage of photographs and text, is a place at once deeply southern and more than a bit foreign.” (Atlantic Monthly)
“Excellent… Mr. Harris’s photographs are inquisitive, and Mr. Wilson’s prose is similarly vivid.” (Dwight Garner - New York Times)
“Delightful… The Mobile Bay area is a distinctive and special place, as anyone who lives here knows. E. O. Wilson, world-renowned scientist and author; and Alex Harris, appreciative outsider with a gifted eye, get this in their bones, and in Why We Are Here
proclaim it from the rooftops.” (John S. Sledge - Mobile Bay Magazine)
About the Author
Edward O. Wilson is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Social Conquest of Earth and Anthill: A Novel, as well as the Pulitzer Prize–winning On Human Nature and (with Bert Hölldobler) The Ants. For his contributions in science and conservation, he has received more than one hundred awards from around the world. A professor emeritus at Harvard University, he lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1949, Alex Harris, acclaimed photographer, Duke University professor, and Pulitzer Prize finalist for River of Traps, lives in Durham, North Carolina.