Paper $19.95 ISBN: 9781861892942 Published December 2006 For sale in North and South America only

Fly

Steven Connor

Fly
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Steven Connor

Distributed for Reaktion Books

224 pages | 25 color plates, 75 halftones | 5-3/8 x 7-1/2
Paper $19.95 ISBN: 9781861892942 Published December 2006 For sale in North and South America only
Few creatures are as universally despised as flies. Blamed for pestilence and plagues, they were publicly excommunicated from the medieval church. Beelzebub, “the lord of the flies,” was said to be the embodiment of evil, and, for centuries, flies were considered the result of spontaneous generation—the unnatural consequence of rotting meat.

Fly explores the history of this much-maligned creature and then turns to examine its newfound redemption through science. The secrets of the fly’s versatile powers of flight, Steven Connor reveals, are only beginning to be understood and appreciated. Its eyes and wings, for instance, have evolved so perfectly that they provide inspiration for some of today’s most daring technological and scientific innovations. And the humble fruit fly, Connor demonstrates, stands at the center of revolutionary advances in genetic research.

Connor delights in tracking his lowly subject through myth, literature, poetry, painting, film, and biology. Humans live in close and intimate quarters with flies, but Fly is the first book to give these common creatures their due.

The Independent
"Incisive and erudite."
Rob Parker | British Journal of Entomology and Natural History
"A fascinating little volume, informative because of the imaginative breadth of material use to reflect mankind's attitude to the flies that have shard our lives for millennia. . . . Humanists, dramatists and artists through the centuries are quoted and illustrated in a most readable style that follow strands that sometimes track scientific logic, or other times, simply intrigue the reader. . . . This is a compact work of scholarship, well researched and well referenced, both from entomological and literary standpoints. I commend it to any reader whose view is broader than a microscope tube."
May Berenbaum | Science
 "In Fly, Steven Connor undertakes the monumental task of acquainting a prejudiced public with the spectacular diversity of Diptera. The book is a tour de force of all manner of flies through both scientific and cultural lenses. . . . The illustrations are an unremitting delight--the author has done a fantastic job of hunting down images of all manner of flies in all manner of media. . . . Fly is a joy to read, and it will particularly appeal to entomologists who have a stake in correcting misperceptions about one of the largest orders of animals."
British Journal of Entomology and Natural History

"Fly is a fascinating little volume, informative because of the imaginative breadth of material used to reflect mankind's attitude to the flies that have shared our lives for millennia. . . . The text is interspersed with fascinating illustrations. . . . This is a compact work of scholarship, well researched and well referenced, both from entomological and literary standpoints. I commend it to any reader whose view is broader than a microscope tube."

Contents
1. Fly Familiar
2. Musca Maledicta
3. Sticky Fun
4. Orders of Magnitude
5. Fly Wars
6. Mutable Fly
7. Fly Leaves
 
Timeline
References
Bibliography
Associations and Websites
Photo Acknowledgements
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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