Masked bandits of the night, raiders of farm crops and rubbish bins, raccoons are notorious for their indifference to human property and propriety, yet they are also admired for their intelligence, dexterity and determination. Raccoons have also thoroughly adapted to human-dominated environments; they are thriving in numbers greater than at any point of their evolutionary history... including in new habitats.
Raccoon surveys the natural and cultural history of this opportunistic omnivore, tracing its biological evolution, social significance, and image in a range of media and political contexts. From intergalactic misanthropes and despoilers of ancient temples to coveted hunting quarry, unpredictable pet, and symbols of wilderness and racial stereotype alike, Raccoon offers a lively consideration of this misunderstood outlaw species.
Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee Nation) is Professor of Critical Indigenous Studies and English at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of Badger (Reaktion Books, 2015).
"Daniel Heath Justice's Raccoon is a fascinating and thoughtfully written exploration of its subject in science and culture – and a must-read for anyone like me who is curious about what, for example, Raccoon Mother (our best yard raccoon) is thinking on any given day."
– New York Times
"Beautifully written and superbly illustrated, this engaging book traces the history of the ubiquitous masked bandits as a species, as a symbol and as a reflection of our society."
– Suzanne MacDonald, Professor of Psychology, York University, Toronto
"A wonderful, brilliantly written book about one of my favorite animals. Just such a joy to read – and I learned so much. You’ll never see raccoons the same again. A book I’ll cherish in years to come."
– Jeff VanderMeer, NYT-bestelling author of Annihilation