Lab Girl

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Jahren, Hope

An extraordinary debut memoir from a woman in science who, in the tradition of Oliver Sacks, shares her knowledge of the natural world—and infects us with her boundless passion for discovery.

Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Her first book is a revelatory treatise on plant life—but it is also so much more. Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains can be moved when those two things come together. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood—hours of unfettered play in her father’s community college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.” She recounts her experience as a woman in science, and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the exhilarating triumphs, of her work. And she introduces us to a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend, and writes about the uncommon bond between them. Urgent, intimate, and exquisitely written, Lab Girl heralds the arrival of a major new talent.