The Flight of the Monarch: And Other Reflections
by Michel Braudeau

May, 2004
Hardcover, 111 pages
8.3 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches

ISBN-13: 978-0807615300
$19.95 (Can $22.95)

"If you want to observe the monarch in good conditions, it's necessary to first go to Mexico and get used to the altitude (2,400 meters), where they breathe air that is thin but exceptionally rich in pollution...It's the only place in the world where you can distinctly hear the sound that the wings of several hundreds of thousands of butterflies flying around you make."

Michel Braudeau's The Flight of the Monarch and Other Reflections magically spins simple facts of nature into unforgettable tales as it suggests what a miracle it is that certain species ever manage to reproduce at all. Consisting of six poetic and concise essays—five of which originally appeared in Le Monde—this elegantly written book demystifies the natural world by clearly, accurately, and often humorously, conveying encyclopedic knowledge in small, unforgettable, gem-like chapters. Braudeau depicts the arduous, multi-generational migration of the Monarch butterfly; the in-flight snooze of the soaring "Martinet"; the road-block that saved an entire population of toads; the simultaneous birth of 8,000 wildebeests; the stupid leatherback turtle that nonetheless holds the secret of eternal youth; and, finally, answers the question of why we don't see that many flea-circuses anymore. He does so with obvious enjoyment, interweaving the facts of these animals' lives with the economic and political realities of our world in a way that will make conservationists approve and applaud. This book will appeal to a wide audience, for its masterly handling of language and content truly offers something for everyone.

Michel Braudeau is a novelist and reporter. He is a former editor at L'Express and Le Monde, and is currently the editor-in-chief of La Nouvelle Revue Française. Sophie Hawkes is the translator of numerous works including, most recently, Action and Reaction by Jean Starobinski.