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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Journey of the Pink Dolphins: An Amazon Quest

  


Journey of the Pink Dolphins: An Amazon Quest by Sy Montgomery

This month, author Sy Montgomery will read daily installments of her book, Journey of the Pink Dolphins: An Amazon Quest. The New York Times Book Review called Montgomery “Equal parts poet and scientists,” and declared the book “a captivating account.” Author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas wrote:

“Surely one of the most brilliant books of our time…Montgomery weaves zoology with myth, natural history with poetry, anthropology with the supernatural, and the result is perfection, a picture not only of animal life but also of human life in the Amazon Basin.”

A Woman Rain
Sy Montgomery reads about the rains of the Amazon, and of a mysterious form that rises from the ocean.

Manaus: The Curtain Rises
Sy Montgomery reads about an opera house, hidden in the Amazon jungle – a symbol of Europe’s efforts to “turn the brown waters of the Rio Negro blue as the Danube, and change its white latex to gold.”

The Meeting of the Waters
Sy Montgomery reads about the beginning of her journey – and a chicken she just couldn’t leave home without.

Unfathomable Fragments
Sy Montgomery reads about the elusive pink dolphins surfacing – but only long enough for her to glimpse shimmering fragments.

Desire
Sy Montgomery reads about the enchanted dolphins, or encantados, and the legends inspired by their mysterious forms.

Iquitos
Sy Montgomery reads about Iquitos – Peru’s largest jungle city, and what one author described as “A lifeboat, crowded with people and jammed against the jungle wall.”

Life in the Rainforest
Sy Montgomery reads about the myriad fauna, flora and medicinal tribal secrets she discovers while traversing the jungle floor.

Death in the Rainforest
Sy Montgomery reads about the small dramas of the jungle, from the bird-hunting tarantulas to the evasive pink dolphins, in a place where “beauty and cruelty twine tight,” and the waters of the Amazon swallow an unexpected tragedy.

Breath
Sy Montgomery reads about a moonlit night that reveals the breaths of the elusive pink dolphins.

Vine of the Soul
Sy Montgomery reads about her pursuit of the dolphin city, or the Encante. She eventually finds that the only route there is through something called Ayahuasca, or “Vine of the Soul.”

A Fortress of Orchards
Today, Sy Montgomery reads about her exploration of the pristine forest of the Tamshiyacu-Tahuayo reserve, untouched by logging or drilling. This area is protected not by conventional conservation means, but by the support of the people’s old ways of guarding it.

Time Travel
Today, Sy Montgomery reads about creatures of both the mythic and real worlds, from chimeras and shape-shifters to armored catfish and eel-like sharks, and the uncanny ability of pink dolphins to straddle both worlds.

If you would like to listen from the beginning of the reading up to the current chapter click here.



The author swims to join a dolphin in the Tapajós River.
Photo: Dianne Taylor-Snow

 


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