From Eugenia Bone, the critically acclaimed author of Mycophilia, comes an approachable, highly personal look at our complex relationship with the microbial world.
While researching her book about mushrooms, Eugenia Bone became fascinated with the huge impact microbes have on every aspect of life. But as she began reading scholarly works in an attempt to grasp the microbiology, she quickly realized she couldn't do it alone.
That's why she went back to school in middle age, to study ecology, evolution, and environmental biology at Columbia University. Her college experience was in equal parts challenging, humbling, and hilarious. The material was daunting, not only because she had spent her life convinced it was beyond her comprehension (a conviction many people share about science), but also because microbes are so different from the organisms we can see. She initially found it difficult to understand creatures that evolve so fast they can become another species in a matter of weeks, that can share genes by touching, that bridge the nonliving and living spheres of life. But despite her academic trials, Bone realized all life, from a mushroom to a maestro, are microbial in essence. Indeed, life itself is a vast conspiracy of microbes.
This popular science book takes the layman on a broad survey of the role of microbes in nature and shows how different the world is with a microbial point of view.
Eugenia Bone is a nationally recognized journalist, food writer, and former president of the New York Mycological Society. She is the author of Mycophilia, The Kitchen Ecosystem, At Mesa's Edge, Italian Family Dining, and Well Preserved. Her books have been nominated for a variety of awards, including a James Beard Award, and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Gourmet, among others . She is a member of the National Association of Science Writers.
"Nowhere else have I read such a sizzling combination of personal experiences and conceptual insights. Microbia is nothing short of wonderful."
– Moselio Schaechter, past president, American Society for Microbiology
"Countless tales have been told of the lives of microbes, but none more arresting than Eugenia Bone's telling in Microbia."
– Wes Jackson, President Emeritus, The Land Institute