Publisher:Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
A “certainly weird . . . strangely wonderful . . . [and] often irresistible” search to find the real Garden of Eden (The New York Times Book Review). Where, precisely, was God’s Paradise? St. Augustine had a theory. So did medieval monks, John Calvin and Christopher Columbus. But when Darwin’s theory of evolution changed our understanding of human origins, shouldn’t the desire to put a literal Eden on the map have faded away? Not so fast. This “gloriously researched, pluckily written historical and anecdotal assay of humankind’s age-old quixotic quest for the exact location of the Biblical garden” (Elle) explores an obsession that has consumed scientists and theologians alike for centuries. To this day, the search continues, taken up by amateur explorers, clergymen, scholars, engineers and educators—romantic seekers all who started with the same simple-sounding Bible verses, only to end up at a different spot on the globe: Sri Lanka, the Seychelles, the North Pole, Mesopotamia, China, Iraq—and Ohio. Inspired by an Eden seeker in her own family, “Wilensky-Lanford approaches her subjects with respect, enthusiasm and conscientious research” (San Francisco Chronicle) as she traverses a century-spanning history provoking surprising insights into where we came from, what we did wrong, and where we go from here. And it all makes for “a lively journey” (Kirkus Reviews).