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Bringing a unique perspective and a singular voice to contemporary fiction, A TORTOISE FOR THE QUEEN OF TONGA features lush, poignant stories about the natural world. Here are mammals, historical figures, everyday people who discover the liberating properties of memory and knowledge in the face of captivity and loneliness. We meet a forlorn tortoise forced to live among humans. We witness orcas at Ocean World staging a revolt, using celibacy as their weapon. In a French cave, a young computer animator draws parallels between Cro-Magnon and modern women. One story even travels to heaven, where Charles Darwin seeks the source of human happiness.
Whitty joins her authority about wildlife and her rich imagination to spectacular effect. Drawing on twenty years' experience with making nature documentaries, she takes readers inside the minds of animals and people struggling to overcome their limitations. In a voice as magical as it is informed, A TORTOISE FOR THE QUEEN OF TONGA bridges the mythical and the mundane, the animal and the human. Julia Whitty is a brilliant new storyteller in American short fiction.