THE SNORING BIRD: MY FAMILY'S JOURNEY THROUGH A CENTURY OF BIOLOGY (461 pp., Harper Collins, 2007)
From the book jacket: "Although Gerd Heinrich, a devoted naturalist, specialized in wasps, Bernd Heinrich tried to distance himself from his 'old-fashioned' father, becoming a hybrid: a modern, experimental biologist with a naturalist's sensibilities. In this extraordinary memoir, the award-winning author shares the ways in which his relationship with his father, combined with his unique childhood, molded him into the scientist, and the man, he is today. From Gerd's days as a soldier in Europe and the family's daring escape from the Red Army in 1945 to the rustic Maine farm they came to call home, Heinrich relates it all in his trademark style, making science accessible and awe-inspiring."
REVIEWS (4.5 of 5 stars on Amazon): "Heinrich is as brilliant at depicting the highs and lows of scientific research as he is in sharing the ways and wonders of the natural world. And always, always, there is in Heinrich's every page, wonderment." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Some of Heinrich's most lyrical writing—a portrait of the future scientist as a footloose nature boy." —The New York Times Book Review
"The Snoring Bird manages in the end not only to bring Gerd Heinrich's ichneumon research into the light, but also to show readers why the work of an observant field biologist still matters." —Los Angeles Times Book Review
BERND HEINRICH WRITES ABOUT THE SNORING BIRD:
If I had written a novel, this would be it, or the source of perhaps several. I didn’t call it a novel only because there is nothing made up in it and little left out. It is not written in order to fit a specific subject category. It contains history of WWII, a story of coming to America, one of a difficult but understandable father-son relationship. It is a biography of my father and the changing science of life as well as the life in our century. But mostly it is an adventure. It is the one of my books where those who read it have gone out of their way to tell me that they “loved" it. I retired early from the University of Vermont specifically to research and write this book, and it is one of my most satisfying for what it preserves that was interesting if not also illuminating, that would otherwise have been lost, fallen by the wayside and forgotten.