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People say that if you put a seashell to your ear you can hear the ocean. This never worked well with abalones until now. This well-informed, deeply felt, eloquently written book tells us, in a beautiful way, where abalones have been and where they—and the ocean—are headed. 

Carl Safina, author of Song for the Blue Ocean and Becoming Wild


Not many writers are good enough to make a story about snails gripping, but Ann Vileisis makes her history and natural history of abalone sing. This exquisite mollusk biography tells how human desire, greed, and incompetence led to an irreplaceable creature's undoing. A truly marvelous, unexpected joy of a book. 

Callum Roberts, professor of marine conservation at University of York and author of The Unnatural History of the Sea and The Ocean of Life: The Fate of Man and the Sea


Ann Vileisis’s new book, Abalone, is a brilliant and compelling story of loss and recovery, despair, hope, and uncertainty—a galvanizing narrative in this disturbing moment. Abalone is deeply researched and imaginatively written; I cannot wait to teach it!

Char Miller, W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History at Pomona College and author of Not So Golden State: Sustainability vs. the California Dream 


Ann Vileisis’s chronicle of the charismatic California abalone is terrific! This is a must-read for all who want to understand this iconic marine snail.

Mike Schaadt, director emeritus, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium


Like the magical inside of an abalone shell, Ann Vileisis’s writing shimmers, and her book reflects a kaleidoscope of profound historical, biological, and cultural insights.

Christine Keiner, author of The Oyster Question: Scientists, Watermen, and the Maryland Chesapeake Bay since 1880 

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