Published by: University of Calgary Press
Imprint: University of Calgary Press
Sales Date: 2022-10-15
Available: October 2022
136 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.40 in
Not Yet Published
Relic species extinct everywhere else on the planet thrive on a remote archipelago. Evolution requires isolation, and these islands offer the perfect environment for genetic variation to take place, fostering new and unique forms of flora and fauna. Evolutionary biologists Emily and Roland have come on an extended field expedition to this secluded world, eager to expose its unique biosphere.
As they work to gather a large dataset of dead specimens for study and description, Emily and Roland experience growing shifts in their perception, in their bodies, and even in the flow of linear time. The environment they have come to quantify acts upon them, the species they collect observe and comment upon them, and the controlled lens of science cannot save them. Succumbing to the dynamic power of isolation, they find themselves irrevocably changed.
A poetic novel told through field notes, letters, and scientific data, Refugia is a story of discovery and transformation that shows the hubris inherent in the idea that humans live both outside, and at the center of, the natural world. This is a book that reveals science in all its imperfect beauty, crossing the line between observer and observed, scientist and subject, between what is known and what is unknowable.