Melissa MilgromMelissa Milgrom is author of Still Life, a chronicle of her adventures among taxidermists (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). A lecturer at museums and universities, she has written about popular culture, subcultures, and people with eccentric areas of expertise for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Daily Beast, Salon, Metropolis, and other publications. She has also produced segments for public radio. "Nothing fascinates me more than people whose obsessions overtake their desire to lead a normal life. In the taxidermy world I met animal lovers whose unending quest to replicate nature—every whisker, feather, and tick bite—verges on the pathological." A native of New Jersey who stuffed a squirrel for the book, Milgrom admits she is a lazy birder who is completely hopeless at identifying warblers—unless, of course, they are in a diorama.
Melissa Milgrom's blog
This excerpt is adapted from my book Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy. One day in 1994 I made the fortunate mistake of wandering into the New Jersey workshop of the last cheif taxidermist for the American Musuem of Natural History. Here's more about this gentle birder who inspired the book.
Photo: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt