The incandescent Diane Ackerman is the author of two dozen highly acclaimed works of nonfiction and poetry, including her most recent book, One Hundred Names for Love, and the bestselling A Natural History of the Senses—a book beloved by millions of readers all over the world. Humans might luxuriate in the idea of being “in” nature, but Ms. Ackerman has taught generations that we are nature—for “no facet of nature is as unlikely as we, the tiny bipeds with the giant dreams.” In prose so rich and evocative that one can feel the earth turning beneath one’s feet as one reads, Ackerman’s thrilling observations urge us to live in the moment, to wake up to nature’s everyday miracles.
One Hundred Names for Love was a finalist for the Putlizer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Books for a Better Life Award. It tells the story of Ackerman's work to bring her husband back from the depths of aphasia after he suffered a terrible stroke, and was described by the Washington Post as "an ode to playfulness and the brain’s plasticity...a testament to the power of creativity in language, life—and love.” Her nonfiction book, The Zookeeper's Wife, is about one of the most successful hideouts of World War II—a tale of people, animals, and subversive acts of compassion.
Other nonfiction titles include: Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day, a book about 'waking up' to each passing moment; An Alchemy of Mind, a poetics of the brain based on the latest neuroscience; Cultivating Delight: A Natural History of My Garden; Deep Play, which considers play, creativity, and our need for transcendence; A Slender Thread, about her work as a crisis line counselor; The Rarest of the Rare; and The Moon by Whale Light, in which she explores the plight and fascination of endangered animals; A Natural History of Love; and On Extended Wings, her memoir of flying.
Her essays about nature and human nature have appeared in The New York Times, Smithsonian, Parade, The New Yorker, National Geographic, and many other journals.
She also has the rare distinction of having a molecule named after her—dianeackerone.