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Zoë Schlanger

The Light Eaters

Tuesday, May 14
7:30 pm PDT
$5 – $25 Sliding Scale
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The Wyncote NW Forum
1119 8th Ave (Entrance off Seneca St.)
Seattle, 98101 United States
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Note: Town Hall events are approximately 75 minutes long.

Book cover: Black background with close-up shot of a pink flower with long stamen. Main title at the top says "The Light Eaters" in big white text. The subtitle "How the Unseen World of Plant Intelligence Offers a New Understanding of Life on Earth" is to the left of the flower.
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The Light Eaters: How the Unseen World of Plant Intelligence Offers a New Understanding of Life on Earth

The Elliott Bay Book Company

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Headshot of Zoe Schlanger (with fair skin, short wavy brown hair)

Did you know that plants can hear sounds? And have a social life? Science writer Zoë Schlanger shares even more remarkable plant talents in her latest book, The Light Eaters, illustrating the tremendous biological creativity it takes to be a plant. To survive and thrive while rooted in a single spot, plants have adapted ingenious methods of survival. They communicate. They recognize their own kin. Schlanger immerses into the world of being a plant, into its drama and complexity.

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Scientists have learned that plants, rather than imitate human intelligence, have perhaps formed a parallel system. What is intelligent life, Schlanger argues, if not a vine that grows leaves to blend into the shrub on which it climbs, a flower that shapes its bloom to fit exactly the beak of its pollinator, a pea seedling that can hear water flowing, and make its way toward it?

Our understanding and definition of a plant is rapidly changing. So then what do we owe these life forms once we come to comprehend their rich and varied abilities? An eye-opening and informative look at the ecosystem we live in, Schlanger challenges us to rethink the role of plants—and our own place—in the natural world.

Zoë Schlanger is a staff writer at the Atlantic, where she covers climate change. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, Time, Newsweek, The Nation, Quartz, and on NPR among other major outlets, and in the 2022 Best American Science and Nature Writing anthology. A recipient of a 2017 National Association of Science Writers’ reporting award, she is often a guest speaker in schools and universities.

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