JAMES BARILLA is an assistant professor in the MFA Program of the University of South Carolina where he teaches creative non-fiction and environmental writing. Some years back he moved to Columbia, South Carolina, a large city. He wanted to transfer the small yard into a wildlife Eden where he could grow fresh vegetables and fruits yet also be a sanctuary for wildlife. And therein lies a tale as Barilla became interested in urban wildlife and what it means to co-exist with it and what happens when wildlife moves into a city. He traveled to New Delhi to look a trampaging armies of thug monkeys, to Brooklyn, New York to learn about urban bee keeping and to Northampton Massachusetts to learn the ways of urbanized Black Bears. His new book is MY BACKYARD JUNGLE: THE ADVENTURES OF AN URBAN WILDLIFE LOVER WHO TURNED HIS YARD INTO HABITAT AND LEARNED TO LIVE WITH IT.
The story of Paul DuChaillu’s life was as astounding as it was complex. As a young man he led a pioneering expedition into the interior of Gabon, Africa and brought back specimens of the little known legendary gorilla. He then became the toast of Victorian Britain just when Darwin’s ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES was published and walked right into the hard fought battles over the differences between a man and an ape. Then, suddenly, he became a discredited figure hated by the academics and public who had supported him. This amazing story is captured in all its detail and complexity in a new book titled BETWEEN MAN AND APE: AN UNLIKELY EXPLORER, THE EVOLUTION DEBATES AND THE AFRICAN ADVENTURE THAT TOOK THE VICTORIAN WORLD BY STORM. Author MONTEREEL has woven together all the various threads to give us a fascinating story of celebrity, evolution, academic rivalries, empire, religion and race. Tune in and listen.