You’d have to look long and hard to find someone in the world who hasn’t visited the zoo. Menageries have been part of human history for ages (the Tower of London was a zoo in 1235, and later became one again in the 1800s). Marveling at animals you can’t see in your backyard holds amazing appeal. And yet, as we learn more about animal society and consciousness, the moral implications of keeping them confined versus educational and conservational value of zoos are being weighed.
This conflict of “conservation and commerce,” as Pulitzer prize-winning writer Thomas French puts it, is one of the reasons he decided to write Zoo Story. In an interview with BookPage con tributing writer Alden Mudge, French explains, “From the very beginning I had in mind this question of freedom. What does freedom mean to humans? What does it mean to other species? What are the limits of freedom in a world that is so crowded that many species are becoming extinct every year?” French says. “A zoo is one of the frontiers where we confront these issues.”
This week, we’re giving away two copies of Zoo Story to two lucky Book Case readers. To enter to win, leave a comment telling us about your favorite animal story. Mine? For pure heartstring-plucking goodness, you can’t beat Brighty of the Grand Canyon. At least, not according to my 11-year-old self.
While you’re waiting for your name to be selected, take a sneak peek at our Thomas French interview!