Science, Art, and a Lone Polar Bear
From the vantage of a schooner full of artists on an adventure in the high Arctic, biologist Lynne Quarmby explains how she became convinced of an urgent need to act on climate change. She recounts how this knowledge - and the fear and panic it elicited - plunged her into unsustainable action, ending in arrests, lawsuits, and a failed electoral campaign on behalf of the Green Party of Canada. Watermelon Snow weaves memoir, microbiology, and artistic antics together with descriptions of a sublime Arctic landscape. At the top of the warming world, Quarmby struggles with burnout and grief while an aerial artist twirls high in the ship's rigging, bearded seals sing mournfully, polar bears prowl, and glaciers crumble into the sea. In a compelling narrative, sorrow and fear are balanced by beauty and wonder. The climate realities are as dark as the Arctic winter, yet this is a book of lightness and generosity. Quarmby's voice, intimate and original, illuminates the science while offering a reminder that much about the human experience is beyond reason. Inspiring and deeply personal, Watermelon Snow is the story of finding life beyond despair.
About the Author
Finding Watermelon Snow
Watermelon Snow is available in libraries & bookstores. If you don't find it, please request that your library or bookstore order it for you.
In Canada, please visit, call, or email your local independent bookseller, or order on-line from Indigo.
In the U.S., support local bookstores by ordering from Bookstore.org
The Audiobook is now available in libraries and wherever you find your audiobooks. Click to sample.
“Quarmby writes beautifully, with a particular fondness for colour. At times, she’s an endearingly geeky scientist...
... a moving book, eloquently dancing between the science and emotion that defines life in a warming world...
…Channeling passion and science into a "search for life beyond despair," Watermelon Snow is a powerful book.
… a must read for anyone concerned about the rapid changes taking place in the Arctic as it warms, and implications for the rest of the planet.
… this book is her bravest act yet - exposing a heart of knowing pain; a heart-breaking awareness of our collective unprocessed grief.
… a powerful expression of how a scientist learns to cope with the realities of climate change.
…brimming with intelligence, love and sorrow, into the Arctic, and into the heart of the climate change battle. Watermelon Snow is both a love song and a song of grief ... A moving and courageous memoir.
Alternately lyrical and literal, her exquisitely crafted writing does not comfort us, but it restores us to ourselves.
Vancouver Maritime Museum Virtual Book Talk
This happened on November 25, 2020. You can watch the video here (talk starts at 5:35).
Gabriola Island Book Launch
This happened Saturday & Sunday, Oct. 31/Nov. 1, on Gabriola Island. It was a fun drop-in literary event with an installation and special guests. We are sorry you missed it.
Word Vancouver 2020
Exploring the Multiverse: Poetry Science and the Environment. The event is over, but there is a YouTube recording (LQ reads at 31:10) .
For publicity requests, contact Ms. Jacqueline Davis, McGill-Queen's University Press.