Central Park in the Dark by Marie Winn
More Mysteries of Urban Wildlife

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Synopsis

Love and loss, life and death, among the nighttime creatures of the city that never sleeps Like her bestseller Red-Tails in Love, Marie Winn’s Central Park in the Dark explores a once-hidden world in a series of interlocking narratives about the extraordinary denizens, human and animal, of an iconic American park. Her beguiling account of a city’s lakes and woodlands at night takes the reader through the cycle of seasons as experienced by nocturnal active beasts (raccoons, bats, black skimmers, and sleeping robins among them), insects (moths, wasps, fireflies, crickets), and slugs (in all their unexpected poetical randiness). Winn does not neglect her famous protagonists Pale Male and Lola, the hawks that captivated readers years ago, but this time she adds an exciting narrative about thirty-eight screech owls in Central Park and their lives, loves, and tragedies there.

An eye-popping amount of natural history is packed into this entertaining book—on bird physiology, spiders, sunsets, dragonflies, meteor showers, and the nature of darkness. But the human drama is never forgotten, for Central Park at night boasts a floating population not only of lovers, dog walkers, and policemen but of regulars young and old who, like Winn, hope to unlock the secrets of urban nature. These “night people” are drawn into a peculiar kind of intimacy. While exploring the astonishing variety of wildlife in the city park, they end up revealing more of their inner lives than they expected.
 

About Marie Winn

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Marie Winn is the author of Red-Tails in Love: Pale Male's Story; The Plug-In Drug: Televisions, Computers, and Family Life; and many other books. She was born in Prague, but has spent most of her life in New York City, where she lives not far from Central Park.
 
Published June 24, 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 320 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Central Park in the Dark

Kirkus Reviews

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Though each of the pieces focuses on Central Park, editor and literary agent Blauner (editor: Brothers, 2009, etc.) observes of the millions who consider this their favorite spot in New York, “Ask what all of those people love most about Central Park, and you will almost never get two alike answers.

Feb 29 2012 | Read Full Review of Central Park in the Dark: Mor...

Kirkus Reviews

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So says Winn, though she admits that as a youngster she was terrified of Central Park after dark.

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The New York Times

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“Curiosity, the desire to know and understand,” she writes, and a natural “eagerness to learn.” Lurking in the woods of Central Park with a like-minded cohort, Winn invites passing strangers to peer through her binoculars at sleeping birds and proudly supplies the names of moths that alight on ...

Jun 22 2008 | Read Full Review of Central Park in the Dark: Mor...

USA Today

As a reporter for The Wall Street Journal in the early '90s, Marie Winn made a celebrity out of a red-tailed hawk, dubbed Pale Male, that nested on a Fifth Avenue apartment, high above Manhattan's Central Park.

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Bookmarks Magazine

But the human drama is never forgotten, for Central Park at night boasts a floating population not only of lovers, dog walkers, and policemen but of regulars young and old who, like Winn, hope to unlock the secrets of urban nature.

Jun 29 2008 | Read Full Review of Central Park in the Dark: Mor...

Oprah.com

Marie Winn's deliciously voyeuristic Central Park in the Dark (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) is filled with such glimpses of elusive nocturnal visitors, including sexy slugs, rare owls, and some of the most curious creatures on two legs.

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