Join the Odd Shelf Book Club at the Mill Creek University Book Store at 6:30 pm on Thursday, July 11th, to discuss "The Feather Thief" by Kirk Johnson.
"The Feather Thief" is gripping true story of a bizarre, shocking crime and mans destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.
On a cool June evening in 2009, Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. The Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwins obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying.
Once inside, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins—some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwins who had risked everything to gather them—and escaped into the darkness.
Two years later, Kirk Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the feather thief—what would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins?
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Kirk W. Johnson is the author of "To Be a Friend Is Fatal" and the founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies.
His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times, among others.
He is the recipient of fellowships from Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the American Academy in Berlin, and the USC Annenberg Center.