NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A “brilliant [and] entrancing” (The Guardian) journey into the hidden lives of fungi—the great connectors of the living world—and their astonishing and intimate roles in human life, with the power to heal our bodies, expand our minds, and help us address our most urgent environmental problems.
“Grand and dizzying in how thoroughly it recalibrates our understanding of the natural world.”—Ed Yong, author of An Immense World ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR—Time, BBC Science Focus, The Daily Mail, Geographical, The Times, The Telegraph, New Statesman, London Evening Standard, Science Friday
When we think of fungi, we likely think of mushrooms. But mushrooms are only fruiting bodies, analogous to apples on a tree. Most fungi live out of sight, yet make up a massively diverse kingdom of organisms that supports and sustains nearly all living systems. Fungi provide a key to understanding the planet on which we live, and the ways we think, feel, and behave.
In the first edition of this mind-bending book, Sheldrake introduced us to this mysterious but massively diverse kingdom of life. This exquisitely designed volume, abridged from the original, features more than one hundred full-color images that bring the spectacular variety, strangeness, and beauty of fungi to life as never before.
Fungi throw our concepts of individuality and even intelligence into question. They are metabolic masters, earth makers, and key players in most of life’s processes. They can change our minds, heal our bodies, and even help us remediate environmental disaster. By examining fungi on their own terms, Sheldrake reveals how these extraordinary organisms—and our relationships with them—are changing our understanding of how life works.
Winner of the Wainwright Prize, the Royal Society Science Book Prize, and the Guild of Food Writers Award • Shortlisted for the British Book Award • Longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize
About the Author
Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and author of Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures, a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller and winner of the Royal Society Book Prize and the Wainwright Prize. Sheldrake is a research associate of the Vrije University Amsterdam and works with the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks and the Fungi Foundation. A keen brewer and fermenter, he is fascinated by the relationships that arise between humans and more-than-human organisms.
“[An] ebullient and ambitious exploration . . . Reading [Entangled Life] left me not just moved but altered, eager to disseminate its message of what fungi can do.”—The New York Times
“A gorgeous book of literary nature writing, ripe with insight and erudition. . . . Food for the soul.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Nearly every page of this book contained either an observation so interesting or a turn of phrase so lovely that I was moved to slow down, stop, and re-read. . . . [Entangled Life] reminded me that fungi are, like the Universe, sublime.”—Science
“An exuberant introduction to the biology, ecology, climatology, and psychopharmacology of the earth’s ‘metabolic wizards.’”—Harpers Magazine
“A poetic, mind-bending tour of the fungal world.”—Scientific American
“Wondrous . . . Humans should consider fungi among the greatest of earth’s marvels.”—Time (Books of the Year)
“An astonishing book.”—The Observer
“Completely mind-blowing.”—The Sunday Times
“Grand and dizzying in how thoroughly it recalibrates our understanding of the natural world.”—Ed Yong, author of An Immense World
“I fell in love with this book. Merlin Sheldrake is a scientist with the imagination of a poet and a beautiful writer.”—Michael Pollan, author of How to Change Your Mind (Bay Area Book Festival, 2020)
“A magical journey deep into the roots of Nature by an expert storyteller . . . a must-read.”—Paul Stamets, author of Mycelium Running
“Reading this book, I felt surrounded by a web of wonder. The natural world is more fantastic than any fantasy, so long as you have the means to perceive it. This book provides the means.”—Jaron Lanier, author of You Are Not a Gadget
“Urgent, astounding, and necessary.”—Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk
“Dazzling, vibrant, vision changing.”—Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland
“Gorgeous.”—Margaret Atwood, author of The Testaments