Paradise Lust by Brook Wilensky-Lanford
Searching for the Garden of Eden

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Synopsis

It seems that ever since mankind was kicked out of the Garden of Eden for eating the forbidden fruit, we’ve been trying to get back in. Or at least, we’ve been wondering where the Garden might have been. St. Augustine had a theory, and so did medieval monks, John Calvin, and Christopher Columbus. But when Darwin’s theory of evolution permanently altered our understanding of human origins, shouldn’t the search for a literal Eden have faded away? Not so fast.

In Paradise Lust, Brook Wilensky-Lanford introduces readers to the enduring modern quest to locate the Garden of Eden on Earth. It is an obsession that has consumed Mesopotamian archaeologists, German Baptist ministers, British irrigation engineers, and the first president of Boston University, among many others. These quixotic Eden seekers all started with the same brief Bible verses, but each ended up at a different spot on the globe: Florida, the North Pole, Ohio, China, and, of course, Iraq. Evocative of Tony Horwitz and Sarah Vowell, Wilensky-Lanford writes of these unusual characters and their search with sympathy and wit. Charming, enlightening, and utterly unique, Paradise Lust is a century-spanning history that will take you to places you never imagined.
 

About Brook Wilensky-Lanford

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Brook Wilensky-Lanford grew up on Mount Desert Island, Maine, studied religion at Wesleyan University, and is a graduate of Columbia University's M.F.A. program in nonfiction. She has written for The Huffington Post, Salon, Triple Canopy, Killing the Buddha, Lapham's Quarterly, and The Exquisite Corpse. She lives in the Garden State.
 
Published August 2, 2011 by Grove Press. 320 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Paradise Lust

Kirkus Reviews

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A freelance journalist debuts with a spirited chase through history, geography and religion as she chronicles the myriad and sometimes mad attempts to locate the Garden of Eden.

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The New York Times

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God, he argued, had actually wanted Eve to eat the fruit, and the serpent was not a serpent at all but, rather, “a Communist or a welfare-statist.” Because eating from the Tree of Knowledge empowered Eve, Callaway said she should be blessed “forever for her great decision.” Wilensky-Lanf...

Aug 05 2011 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lust: Searching for ...

Publishers Weekly

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Wilensky-Lanford, whose essays have appeared in Salon, Killing the Buddha, and The Exquisite Corpse, has carved her literary niche as a "private investigator with an open mind," exploring myth and the human social psyche.

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lust: Searching for ...

New York Journal of Books

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Willcocks tracked a “Garden of Eden of the Semites” to an area farther north, so he labeled his competing countryman’s site the “Garden of Eden of Sumer.” He compromised that the “Sons of God” set their monotheistic, proto-Judaic site in one place.

Aug 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lust: Searching for ...

The Wall Street Journal

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His 1914 pamphlet, titled "The Creation, the Real Situation of Eden, and the Origin of the Chinese," placed Eden in a vast, yet-unexplored patch of Mongolian desert called Chinese Turkestan.

Aug 06 2011 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lust: Searching for ...

New York Journal of Books

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Willcocks tracked a “Garden of Eden of the Semites” to an area farther north, so he labeled his competing countryman’s site the “Garden of Eden of Sumer.” He compromised that the “Sons of God” set their monotheistic, proto-Judaic site in one place.

Aug 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Paradise Lust: Searching for ...

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