Johanna Lawshea

Sy Montgomery is a naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and author of twenty acclaimed books of nonfiction, including the memoir The Good Good Pig, a New York Times bestseller. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including lifetime achievement awards from the Humane Society and the New England Booksellers Association. Her latest book, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness (Atria Books), has been long-listed for a National Book Award in nonfiction. In this astonishing book Montgomery explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. Montgomery’s popular 2011 Orion magazine piece, “Deep Intellect,” about her friendship with a sensitive, sweet-natured octopus named Athena and the grief she felt at her death, went viral, indicating the widespread fascination with these mysterious, almost alien-like creatures. Since then, Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism, from New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, pursuing these wild, solitary shape-shifters. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.