Entangled Life

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Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures
Entangled Life Merlin Sheldrake.jpg
AuthorMerlin Sheldrake
CountryEngland
LanguageEnglish
PublisherRandom House
Publication date
12 May 2020
Media typePrint
Pages380
AwardWainwright Prize for writing on global conservation
ISBN978-0-525-51031-4

Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures is a 2020 non-fiction book on mycology by English biologist Merlin Sheldrake. His first book,[1][2][3] it was published by Random House on 12 May 2020.[4]

Summary[edit]

The book looks at fungi from a number of angles, including decomposition, fermentation, nutrient distribution, psilocybin production, the evolutionary role fungi play in plants, and the ways in which humans relate to the fungal kingdom.[1][5][6][7] It uses music and philosophy to illustrate its thesis,[8] and introduces readers to a number of central strands of research on mycology.[9] It is also a personal account of Sheldrake's experiences with fungi.[6]

Sheldrake is an expert in mycorrhizal fungi,[10] holds a PhD in tropical ecology from the University of Cambridge for his work on underground fungal networks in tropical forests in Panama, where he was a predoctoral research fellow of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute,[11] and his research is primarily in the fields of fungal biology and the history of Amazonian ethnobotany.[12] He is the son of Rupert Sheldrake, a biologist, and Jill Purce, an author and therapist, and the brother of musician Cosmo Sheldrake.[5][11][13]

Reception[edit]

The book was published to largely positive reviews.

Jennifer Szalai of The New York Times called the book an "ebullient and ambitious exploration" of fungi, adding, "reading it left me not just moved but altered, eager to disseminate its message of what fungi can do."[1] Eugenia Bone of The Wall Street Journal called it "a gorgeous book of literary nature writing in the tradition of [Robert] Macfarlane and John Fowles, ripe with insight and erudition."[5]

Rachel Cooke of The Observer called it "an astonishing book that could alter our perceptions of fungi forever."[11] Richard Kerridge, reviewing the book in The Guardian, wrote that "when we look closely [at fungi], we meet large, unsettling questions... [Sheldrake] carries us easily into these questions with ebullience and precision."[8]

The book was named on Time magazine's list of the 100 Must-Read Books of 2020,[14] and The Daily Telegraph list of the 50 Best Books of 2020,[15] and was chosen as one of the best nature books of 2020 by The Times.[16] It was serialized on BBC Radio 4 as the book of the week,[17] and is a Sunday Times best-seller.[18]

Entangled Life was an inspiration for the Spring 2021 couture collection by Iris van Herpen.[19] It won the Wainwright Prize in the Global Conservation Writing category.[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Szalai, Jennifer (27 May 2020). "Whether You're Making a Meal or Cleaning an Oil Spill, There's a Fungus for That". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 25 August 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  2. ^ Carey, John (23 August 2020). "Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake, review". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Archived from the original on 30 August 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Review of Entangled Life". Kirkus Reviews. 2 March 2020. Archived from the original on 17 July 2020.
  4. ^ Hsu, Hua (18 May 2020). "The Secret Lives of Fungi". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 8 September 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Bone, Eugenia (22 May 2020). "'Entangled Life' Review: Digging Into Enigmatic Organisms". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 17 July 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  6. ^ a b Li, Gege (3 June 2020). "There is so much we don't yet know about fungi". New Scientist. Archived from the original on 13 September 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  7. ^ Cook, Gareth (24 June 2020). "A Poetic, Mind-Bending Tour of the Fungal World". Scientific American. Archived from the original on 20 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  8. ^ a b Kerridge, Richard (27 August 2020). "Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake review - from funghi to questions of identity". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 31 August 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  9. ^ Dunn, Rob (12 May 2020). "An ode to fungi reminds readers that the mundane can be sublime". Science Books, et al. Archived from the original on 17 July 2020. Retrieved 2 September 2020.
  10. ^ Macfarlane, Robert (7 August 2016). "The Secrets of the Wood Wide Web". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on 21 October 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  11. ^ a b c Cooke, Rachel (23 August 2020). "The future is fungal: why the 'megascience' of mycology is on the rise". The Observer. Archived from the original on 31 August 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  12. ^ Harpignies, JP (7 July 2020). "Interview with Merlin Sheldrake, Author of Entangled Life". Bioneers. Archived from the original on 1 September 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  13. ^ "S02E12 Jill Purce on Overtone Chanting and Ancestral Healing". Medicine Path Podcast. Archived from the original on 23 September 2020. Retrieved 31 August 2020.
  14. ^ "The 100 Must-Read Books of 2020". Time. 11 November 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  15. ^ "The 50 Best Books of 2020". The Daily Telegraph. 1 December 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  16. ^ "Best nature books of the year 2020". The Times. 29 November 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  17. ^ "Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake". BBC Radio 4. 23 November 2020. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  18. ^ "Entangled Life". penguin.co.uk. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  19. ^ Borrelli-Persson, Laird (25 January 2021). "Iris van Herpen: Spring 2021 Couture". Vogue. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  20. ^ Flood, Alison (7 September 2021). "Wainwright prize for nature writing goes to James Rebanks for English Pastoral". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 September 2021.