“Engrossing. . . . Thrilling. . . . Does for botany what Oliver Sacks’s essays did for neurology, what Stephen Jay Gould’s writings did for paleontology.”
— The New York Times
“Lab Girl made me look at trees differently. It compelled me to ponder the astonishing grace and gumption of a seed. Perhaps most importantly, it introduced me to a deeply inspiring woman—a scientist so passionate about her work I felt myself vividly with her on every page. This is a smart, enthralling, and winning debut.”
— Cheryl Strayed
“Clear, compelling and uncompromisingly honest . . . Hope Jahren is the voice that science has been waiting for.”
“A powerful new memoir . . . Jahren is a remarkable scientist who turns out to be a remarkable writer as well. . . . Think Stephen Jay Gould or Oliver Sacks. But Hope Jahren is a woman in science, who speaks plainly to just how rugged that can be. And to the incredible machinery of life around us.”
— On Point/NPR
“Some people are great writers, while other people live lives of adventure and importance. Almost no one does both. Hope Jahren does both. She makes me wish I’d been a scientist.”
— Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder
“Lab Girl surprised, delighted, and moved me. I was drawn in from the start by the clarity and beauty of Jahren’s prose. . . . With Lab Girl, Jahren joins those talented scientists who are able to reveal to us the miracle of this world in which we live.”
— Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
“Warm, witty . . . Fascinating. . . . Jahren’s singular gift is her ability to convey the everyday wonder of her work: exploring the strange, beautiful universe of living things that endure and evolve and bloom all around us, if we bother to look.”
— Entertainment Weekly
“Breathtakingly honest. . . . Gorgeous. . . . At its core, Lab Girl is a book about seeing—with the eyes, but also the hands and the heart.”
— American Scientist
American Association for the Advancement of Science’s (AAAS)’s Science Books & Films Best List WINNER 2016
National Book Critics Circle Awards WINNER 2016
PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award FINALIST 2017
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
A New York Times Notable Book
Winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books & Film Prize for Excellence in Science Books
One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington Post, TIME.com, NPR, Slate, Entertainment Weekly, Newsday, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Kirkus Reviews
Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together.
Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist.
In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father’s college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.”
Lab Girl is also about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.
She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment.
Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together.
Format: New, paperback
Published: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Vintage; Reprint Edition
Dimensions: 5.2 inches x 0.6 inches x 8 inches
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hope Jahren is an award-winning scientist who has been pursuing independent research in paleobiology since 1996, when she completed her PhD at University of California Berkeley and began teaching and researching first at the Georgia Institute of Technology and then at Johns Hopkins University.
She is the recipient of three Fulbright Awards and is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of the Young Investigator Medals given within the Earth Sciences.
She was a tenured professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu from 2008 to 2016, where she built the Isotope Geobiology Laboratories, with support from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.
She currently holds the J. Tuzo Wilson professorship at the University of Oslo, Norway.