The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals
Scribner, 9781501164699, 368pp.
Publication Date: September 17, 2019
Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (9/17/2019)
With Wildhood, Harvard evolutionary biologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and award-winning science writer Kathryn Bowers have created an entirely new way of thinking about the crucial, vulnerable, and exhilarating phase of life between childhood and adulthood across the animal kingdom.
In their critically acclaimed bestseller, Zoobiquity, the authors revealed the essential connection between human and animal health. In Wildhood, they turn the same eye-opening, species-spanning lens to adolescent young adult life. Traveling around the world and drawing from their latest research, they find that the same four universal challenges are faced by every adolescent human and animal on earth: how to be safe, how to navigate hierarchy; how to court potential mates; and how to feed oneself. Safety. Status. Sex. Self-reliance. How human and animal adolescents and young adults confront the challenges of wildhood shapes their adult destinies.
Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers illuminate these core challenges through the lives of four animals in the wild: Ursula, a young king penguin; Shrink, a charismatic hyena; Salt, a matriarchal humpback whale; and Slavc, a roaming European wolf. Through their riveting stories—and those of countless others, from adventurous eagles and rambunctious high schooler to inexperienced orcas and naive young soldiers—readers get a vivid and game-changing portrait of adolescent young adults as a horizontal tribe, sharing behaviors and challenges, setbacks and triumphs.
Upending our understanding of everything from risk-taking and anxiety to the origins of privilege and the nature of sexual coercion and consent, Wildhood is a profound and necessary guide to the perilous, thrilling, and universal journey to adulthood on planet earth.
About the Author
Kathryn Bowers is a science journalist who has taught medical narrative and comparative literature at UCLA. She’s a Future Tense Fellow at New America in Washington, DC, and was an editor at Zócalo Public Square in Los Angeles. She is the coauthor of Zoobiquity and Wildhood.
Praise For Wildhood: The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals…
"It blew my mind to discover that teenage animals and teenage humans are so similar. Both are naive risk takers. I loved this book!”
—Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human and Animals in Translation
"Wildhood’s tour of the natural history of adolescence is original, entertaining, and constructive. The transition from youth to adulthood might never be easy, but this comparative biology is full of ideas for understanding it better."
—Richard Wrangham, PhD, author of The Goodness Paradox and Catching Fire
"Wildhood links coming-of-age neurobiology with ecology and evolutionary biology to create a powerful new lens for understanding the science (and art) of growing up. At times counter-intuitive, at times paradigm-shattering, this illuminating new book generates dozens of hypotheses for raising, educating, counseling and treating, and living life as an adolescent human."
—Gene Beresin, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
“Our teenage years can be many things, from fraught and frustrating to exhilarating and joyful. In Wildhood, Natterson-Horowitz and Bowers show that these years are something else altogether—essential for humans and animals in general. Read their enlightening journey and you will never see the transition to adulthood the same way again.”
—Neil Shubin, Ph.D., author of Your Inner Fish and The Universe Within
“Wildhood is one of the most insightful books ever written about this critically important stage of life. Unfailingly fascinating—and sometimes downright mind-blowing—this a remarkably original account of the nature, meaning, and purpose of adolescence in today’s world.”
—Laurence Steinberg, author of Age of Opportunity: Lessons From the New Science of Adolescence