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Author Talk with Margie Patlak — More Than Meets the Eye: Exploring Nature and Loss on the Coast of Maine

Tuesday, May 17 @ 6:30 pm 7:30 pm

UPDATE: Margie Patlak’s book JUST won the award of “Outstanding Book” in the “Memoir” category given by the American Society for Journalists and Authors for 2021! Congratulations!

The Camden Public Library welcomes award-winning science writer and memoirist Margie Patlak for a presentation about her book More than Meets the Eye: Exploring Nature and Loss on the Coast of Maine. The book explores the unique nature of the Maine coast and how it can open a door to deeper ties and insights.


“As a science writer eager to learn more about the environment of my new abode on the Schoodic Peninsula, I started writing the book more than 10 years ago and thought it would just be about the nature of Maine,” says Patlak. “But it soon became a quest to answer the question of what remains once the ashes are spread that no amount of scientific research could answer.”

Watching a striped monarch caterpillar transform into a chartreuse pendant dabbed with gold, she realizes the limits of life and what is passed between generations. Tides show how fleeting time is, and clouds and weather reveal greater forces that take away all illusions of control. She also explores the continental collisions that thrust up and fractured Maine’s mountains; digs into the latest scientific thinking on how animals navigate; and exults in the dizzy dance of plankton under the microscope. Even moose, fox, and fishers reveal more than meets the eye. These facets of the natural world speak a hidden language Patlak translates with her scientific knowledge and reflection. Nature begins to speak about the nature of life.

“To read this book is to gain a deep perspective—from looking close, both backwards and forwards in time and space—for living and enjoying the real world, the one of nature. Patlak gracefully combines it all.”

—Bernd Heinrich, best-selling author of Summer World, and A Year In the Maine Woods

Margie Patlak has written hundreds of articles about the environment, neuroscience, biomedical research, and technology for popular publications such as Discover magazine, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and many others; and her personal essays have appeared in a number of literary journals and newspapers. She has degrees in Botany and Environmental Studies and divides her time between Philadelphia and Corea, Maine.

If you live near Camden, Maine and would like to support our local book store, you can purchase a copy of More Than Meets the Eye: Exploring Nature and Loss on the Coast of Maine at Owl & Turtle Bookshop (located at 33 Bay View Street). Otherwise, you can CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO ORDER THE BOOK ONLINE.

55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States