Delia Owens biography

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Delia Owens
Photo: Dawn Marie Tucker

Delia Owens

Delia Owens Biography

Delia Owens is the coauthor of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa - Cry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, the African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many other publications. She currently lives in Idaho, where she continues her support for the people and wildlife of Zambia. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.

Delia Owens's website

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Interview

Delia Owens, the author of three nonfiction books, discusses the inspiration for her debut novel Where the Crawdads Sing, which draws on both her personal life and her professional experiences researching and living in Africa as a zoologist.

What is your debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing, about?

Where the Crawdads Sing is a mystery, a love story, and a courtroom drama, but it is primarily about self-reliance, survival, and how isolation affects human behavior. Since our species is a social mammal, we have strong genetic tendencies to belong to a group of tightly bonded family and friends.

But what happens if a young girl—such as the novel's heroine, Kya—finds herself alone without a group? Of course, she feels lonely, threatened, insecure, and incompetent. Kya also behaves strangely, hiding behind trees when she sees others on the beach and avoiding the village. She ventures deeper into the wilds of the marsh, away from people, and in so doing begins to learn life's lessons directly from the natural world. This organic guidance, along with instinctual behaviors born from isolation, allow her to survive and protect herself. But much more than that, the confidence she gains from self- reliance permits her to soar with personal achievements beyond what she could imagine.

The novel explores how isolated individuals behave differently from normal and how much we change when rejected by others. On their own and excluded, humans often revert to behaviors ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Delia Owens at BookBrowse
Where the Crawdads Sing jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Delia Owens 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

  • Elizabeth Church

    Elizabeth Church

    Elizabeth J. Church was born in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Her father, a research chemist, was drafted out of Carnegie Mellon University where he was pursuing his graduate studies and was sent to join other scientists working in... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Where the Crawdads Sing

    Try:
    The Atomic Weight of Love
    by Elizabeth Church

  • Linda Scott DeRosier

    Linda Scott DeRosier

    Linda Scott DeRosier has published two memoirs of her life growing up in Appalachia, Creeker and Songs of Life and Grace. She received the Appalachian Writers Association Awared for non-ficition and the Thomas D. Clark Award... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Where the Crawdads Sing

    Try:
    Creeker
    by Linda Scott DeRosier

We recommend 9 similar authors

View all 9 Readalikes

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Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Educated
    Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Voted 2018 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Tara Westover had the kind of ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Voted 2018 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Towards the end of Madeline Miller...
  • Book Jacket: Children of Blood and Bone
    Children of Blood and Bone
    by Tomi Adeyemi
    Voted 2018 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    What would you do if, in a ...
  • Book Jacket: Where the Crawdads Sing
    Where the Crawdads Sing
    by Delia Owens
    Voted 2018 Best Debut Novel Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Where the Crawdads Sing was a ...

See all Award Winners & Top 20

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
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Readers Recommend

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    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
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