Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, professor and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, which has earned wide acclaim, and Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses, which received the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. Braiding Sweetgrass for Young Adults: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, adapted by Monique Gray Smith and illustrated by Nicole Neidhardtwill be published by Zest Books/Lerner on November 1. Earlier this week Kimmerer received a 2022 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Fellowship.

On your nightstand now:

I’m currently reading The Nutmeg’s Curse by Amitav Ghosh. It’s a compelling narrative of the ravages of colonialism, all tied together by commoditization of charismatic plants. The storytelling is so gripping that I put it down to let it soak in and then picked it up again.

Favorite book when you were a child:

That’s hard to choose since I was a voracious reader, but I think Freckles by Gene Stratton-Porter was the one I read over and over. The images of the rich forests, the female naturalist and the sense of wonder and discovery in the natural world drew me in. It gave a name to what I wanted to be when I grew up. And I must call out My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George, which was my dream life. Still is.

Read more here.