Remember when, a few years back, a cougar fatally struck by a car in suburban Connecticut was revealed by DNA testing to have walked all that way from Black Hills of South Dakota? It was the sort of story that’s sad and heartening at the same time: We regret the animal’s demise caused by human-made technology and development; we admire its strength, tenacity and determination; and we find a spark of hope that the apex predators native to our continent, driven into isolated corners by bounty hunting long ago, may be making a comeback to their former haunts.
The peripatetic panther in question was reportedly spotted in natural preserves in New York State – including the Shawangunks and the Adirondacks – en route to meet its mechanical destiny. That’s part of the story told in William Stolzenburg’s Heart of a Lion: A Lone Cat’s Walk across America, a new book just released by Bloomsbury. The author is on a cross-country trek of his own, bringing along a multimedia presentation about the 2,000-mile odyssey of the nameless young male cougar. The Inquiring Mind Bookstore located at 65 Partition Street in Saugerties will play host to Stolzenburg on Thursday, May 19 at 7 p.m. Admission to the program is free. For more on the book, visit www.bloomsbury.com/us/heart-of-a-lion-9781620405529.
The next evening, Friday, May 20 at 7 p.m., Inquiring Mind (singular)’s sister bookstore at 6 Church Street in New Paltz, Inquiring Minds (plural), will offer another free and fascinating reading/signing event. Co-authors Yvonne Wakim Dennis, Arlene Hirschfelder and Shannon Rothenberger Flynn will present Native American Almanac: More than 50,000 Years of the Cultures and Histories of Indigenous Peoples, which traces the rich heritage of North America’s indigenous inhabitants. It is a fascinating mix of biography, pre-contact and post-contact history, current events, Tribal Nations’ histories, enlightening insights on environmental and land issues, arts, treaties, languages, education, movements and more. For details on the book, visit www.visibleinkpress.com/t159/native-american-almanac-more-than-50000-years-of-the-cultures-and-histories-of-indigenous-peoples.
For more on these and other upcoming Inquiring Mind(s) events, call (845) 246-5775 in Saugerties or (845) 255-8300 in New Paltz, or visit www.inquiringbooks.com.