Virginia Morell biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Virginia Morell
Photo: Michael McRae

Virginia Morell

Virginia Morell Biography

Virginia Morell is a prolific contributor to National Geographic, Science, and Smithsonian, among other publications. She is also the author of Ancestral Passions, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Blue Nile; and coauthor with Richard Leakey of Wildlife Wars.



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Interview

Virginia Morell discusses how an interview with Jane Goodall morphed into the book, Animal Wise, if there is an ethical component to animals' feelings, and which authors have influenced her science writing the most.

Why did you become a science writer?

As a child, I loved reading and spending time in nature. My parents were great outdoor enthusiasts, and as a family we spent weekends and every summer vacation camping, hiking and exploring the mountains and deserts of the western states. I was soon a devoted reader of field guides, learning all I could about wildlife, plants, and geology. I loved reading because I could imagine myself as the characters in my books and being carried away by the words into their lives. I loved watching birds and animals for much the same reason. Who were they? How did they live their lives? I wrote short, imaginary tales about their lives. While these were fictional tales, they were my first efforts to explain the things in the world that I thought and cared about. I actually did not set out to become a science writer; as a child I didn't realize there was such a career. I only discovered it in college, a sudden illumination: here was a way to combine all that I loved–reading, exploring the wild, meeting unusual, eccentric characters (human and animal), and sharing all of this through my writing.


What authors have influenced you both as a reader and a science writer?

I've been deeply ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Virginia Morell at BookBrowse
Animal Wise jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Virginia Morell but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Diane Ackerman

    Diane Ackerman

    Poet, essayist, and naturalist, Diane Ackerman is the author of many highly acclaimed works of nonfiction, including A Natural History of the Senses -- a book beloved by readers all over the world and the volumes Deep Play, A... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Animal Wise

    Try:
    The Human Age
    by Diane Ackerman

  • Simon Barnes

    Simon Barnes

    Simon Barnes was born in Bristol in 1951. He is the multi-award-winning chief sportswriter for The Times (London). He is also a nature writer, horseman, and the author of a dozen books, including the bestselling How to Be a ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Animal Wise

    Try:
    Ten Million Aliens
    by Simon Barnes

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