Edward O. Wilson makes a mountain out of his novel, 'Anthill'
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner for science and a Heartland Prize winner for fiction, Edward O. Wilson appeared at the 2010 Miami Book Fair International with Executive Editor and Vice President of W.W. Norton publishing, Robert Weil, to discuss his life, his metamorphosis from scientist to novelist, and introduce his award-winning first novel, Anthill (W.W. Norton; April, 2011) and the characters, Raff and Frogman, that appear in the novel. Next, Wilson read a passage from the book in which a young, inquisitive Raff is bit by a large cottonmouth snake, as Wilson had been in his youth. Weil and Wilson then discussed the process of learning to write dialogue and use metaphors after a lifetime of dry science writing, a conversation that Wilson capped with his rendition of redneck dialect and a review of Raff's decision to turn from science to law. Wilson then described The Anthill Chronicles, a novel within the novel, in which Wilson offers a close-up illustration of the group behaviors of ants, such as war and conflict, disturbingly similar to group behavior of humans. Wilson wrapped his presentation with news of two movie adaptations of Anthill in the works before taking questions from the audience on nematode biomass and advances in brain research since his book, Consilience; the impact of widespread scientific ignorance in America; the future of ants; and his book, The Creation.
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