I’m thrilled to announce that my nonfiction book, The Age of Deer, is now out from Catapult Books!

The book has also been published in the U.K. by Icon Books. More info is here. Please order through your local bookstore or Bookshop!

I traveled from Texas to England and many places in between to report this, and it’s been an adventure. I’m very excited to share what I learned and open a conversation about our ties to the natural world, and what natural means in the first place.

*****

Included on the January 2024 Indie Next list

**Starred review in Kirkus: “Outstanding natural history writing”

**Starred, boxed review in Publishers Weekly: “A poignant meditation on humanity’s relationship with deer . . . [Howsare’s] lyrical musings cast her subject in a new light . . . Readers will be enthralled.”

“A wide-ranging and deeply intelligent investigation . . . Howsare makes it clear that the human relationship with deer has always been in flux, a mysterious give-and-take with this crepuscular, liminal creature, thriving where the wild meets the tamed.” —Max Watman, The Wall Street Journal

“A masterpiece . . . Howsare’s hands-on approach keeps her storytelling vivid and personal.” —Michael Sims, The Washington Post

“Fascinating . . . A splendid document of intellectual and emotional growth . . .  She has no ultimate program for how to regain some elusive ‘balance’ between our two species. She merely asks that we continue to learn from each other.” —Lorraine Berry, Los Angeles Times

“Howsare approaches the topic with a journalist’s open mind and a poet’s open heart; she is both. It is an absolute delight. There’s not a page on which the reader will not learn something . . . Yet the book is more than a cabinet of delights. Howsare engages thoughtfully with big ideas, from classical art and old myths of deer and deer-gods to the long, intertwined history of human beings and deer in North America, from pre-Columbian Indigenous folkways that shaped and affected deer population to the near-extinction that occurred after white settlers arrived.” —Kate Tuttle, The Boston Globe

“A compelling and thorough account of our relationship to the planet’s most ubiquitous ruminant . . . Erika Howsare made me respect deer and the way their history intertwines with our own.” —Adriana E. Ramírez, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Age of Deer blends Howsare’s personal story with literary analysis and in-depth reportage . . . It is this tension between kinship and stewardship that shapes Howsare’s book, a conflict that produces a third way that collapses the traditional hierarchy. What if deer have something to teach us, not just to give us in the forms of their beauty and their bodies?” —Annie Berke, Washington City Paper

“Those interested in nature writing, or at least how humans connect to the world around them, will enjoy The Age of Deer.” —Milan Polk, Men’s Health

“[A] profound and courageous walkabout of a book, she traipses into a dense thicket of social and economic history, myth and imagination, culture and ecology . . . [An] exceptional investigation . . . Howsare demonstrates an extraordinary ability to hold in sustained conversation the human and wild. . . In her grounded, considerate manner, Howsare holds us as subject as much as the deer that carry the title, observing both with a tremendous depth of generosity, a feat nearly as impossible as putting a hand on a wild doe.” —Jason Allen Ashlock, Worth Magazine

“The book showcases Howsare’s keen journalistic skills as well as her subtle but sharp sense of humor and thoughtful way with words. Filled with graceful reverence and appreciation for the world of deer—as well as the work of those whose lives are lived in close proximity to it.” —Sarah Lawson, C-VILLE Weekly

“[Howsare] asks hard questions about how human development and ways of thinking about nature often determine whether deer live or die, and how they do both . . . More than symbol, the deer is also depicted as our neighbor, our kin, the object of ‘a sacred bond.’” —Amy Brady, Literary Hub

“A thorough, eye-opening invitation to ponder our own relationships with the natural world, practically and reverently.” —Becky Libourel Diamond, BookPage

“Howsare acknowledges the deep, often mysterious connection humans feel with this large, beautiful mammal, citing the cultural, economic, and environmental impact the species has had throughout history. A nature writer with a poet’s eye and a scholar’s acuity.” —Booklist

“Extraordinary and absorbing, The Age of Deer proves John Muir’s notion that when we pick out one thing in the universe we find it hitched to everything else. Howsare understands that we live in an age of numbness when ‘few of us are willing to really feel,’ and suggests, through the lives of deer and her experience with them, an elemental antidote.” —David Gessner, author of Return of the Osprey and All the Wild That Remains

“By paying close attention to an animal often seen but rarely observed, Howsare reveals that deer are far more mysterious and complicated—and far more deeply embedded in our lives and collective histories—than they may seem. The Age of Deer is a wonderfully perceptive, absorbing, and rewarding exploration of life in all its interconnected forms.” — Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction

“Erika Howsare has written a fascinating and brilliantly researched book on deer. She has an ear for the conundrums and contradictions of our entanglements with these creatures, who increasingly occupy a middle ground between wild and domestic, survivors of our species’ worst predations. This is also a book about nature, culture, and our nationhood—an interrogation of the American project as that story continues to unfold across our deer-happy landscape.” —Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of A Woven World

“A warm, engaging, and thoughtful look at what matters to deer and what they mean to us. Howsare is fascinated by the paradoxical status of an animal we all think we know: Not tame, but not quite wild either; fetishized by some, resented by others; all too common, and yet impossible to ignore. I highly recommend it!” —Nate Blakeslee, author of American Wolf

“In her lyrical and revelatory The Age of Deer, Erika Howsare crafts the definitive account of humanity’s longstanding dependence on the lovely creatures, their prominent place in myth and legend, and our modern failures to live peaceably alongside them. A cautionary (but often beautiful) tale of good intentions gone awry.” —Earl Swift, author of Across the Airless Wilds: The Lunar Rover and the Triumph of the Final Moon Landings

The Age of Deer joins a growing canon of fresh treatments of wild creatures that are anciently enmeshed in the human story. And as Howsare reminds us in her warm, relaxed style, we will always have such a relationship with deer. The next one you see is going to intrigue you in a whole new way.” —Dan Flores, New York Times bestselling author of Coyote America and Wild New World

“I carried The Age of Deer in my pack for a few days through a canyon in Colorado, and it was a great complement to the lopsided slopes of fallen trees and the sound of roaring water. The deer is due its storyteller and Howsare takes the role with smartness and grace.” —Craig Childs, author of Tracing TimeHouse of Rain, and The Secret Knowledge of Water

 

Born and raised in southwestern Pennsylvania, I earned a BA at Oberlin College and hold an MFA from Brown University. I’m also the author of two books of poetry and my essays, reviews, and interviews are found at places like The Rumpus, The Los Angeles Review of Books, LongReads, and The Brooklyn Rail. One of my essays was named a notable mention in The Best American Food Writing of 2020 and The Best American Science and Nature Writing of 2020. Along with my husband and two daughters, I live in the Blue Ridge of central Virginia, where I work in local journalism and teach writing in the community.

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