Tuesday 19 January 2010

ants move centre stage

Two years ago this blog noted that the great biologist E. O. Wilson was writing a novel about ants. Reports said that his publisher had wanted him to include a few more details about humans, but it didn't sound as if his publisher was winning the argument.

Next week's New Yorker carries further proof of that. The New Yorker is publishing an extraordinary short story about ants by Wilson, which dramatises the life and death struggle of a, well, community would be too tiny a term, civilisation, perhaps too grand, but certainly a very sizeable collection of mutually co-operative ants.

Anyone who has read E. O. Wilson will recognise the way he overturns the reader's perspective by dramatising the lives of creatures most people barely notice. His story in New Yorker (this blog assumes it's only an extract) points to a book that will be quite unlike any other.

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