Prendiamoci cura della Terra

Aimee and the Wonders of the World

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, a poet and essayist of Indian and Filipino origins, teaches Literature and Creative Writing in the MFA program at the University of Mississippi. Her book World of Wonders, which we strongly recommend, has been translated worldwide and is largely considered by the press to be one of the best books of 2020.

Passionate, lyrical, and beautifully illustrated, World of Wonder is a book that tells us about the creatures Aimee Nezhukumatathil encountered in the many places she called “home”: the grounds around the Kansas mental institution, where her mother was a doctor; the open skies and high mountains of Arizona, where she hiked with her father; and the colder climates of New York State and Ohio. But it doesn’t matter the place, it doesn’t matter how difficult the adaptation was or how threatening the landscape was: Nezhukumatathil always managed to find guidance and comfort in the creatures she encountered, mixing the minute description of the most disparate forms of life with memories, segments of her life that were intertwined with the plants and animals she came across and then got to know, driven by her incurable curiosity. There are many ways in which nature and its inhabitants can provide us with lessons, support and inspiration. Even in what is strange or unpleasant the author finds enchantment and affinity. This is how it works, with wonder: we must be curious enough to look beyond distractions and fully appreciate the world’s wonders.

Author: Aimee Nezhukumatathil | Illustrator: Fumi Mini Nakamura
Translator: Federica Principi | Publisher: Nottetempo 2024
Pages: 208, ill., Paperback | EAN: 9791254800836

This is a precious attitude in these times, in which populism pushes human beings against other human beings, guided by the dangerous superficiality of prejudices; while wild creatures, instead of being included in the environments in which we cohabit, become easy targets to kill, in the name of a superiority which, evidently, despite the Evil of the 20th century, it has not yet been possible to eradicate from the human soul.

What Nezhukumatathil writes about is a “borderland” that demands the attention of the observer and the willingness to open up to what, in short, we could define as “wonder” – a feeling capable of bringing out in our soul the unconditional love for everything that is pulsating life.

I thank Michele Serra, a pilaster of the Messaggerie Sarde bookstore, for recommending this volume and Mauro Garofalo for involuntary helping me with the review.


Author: Anna Lacci is a scientific popularizer and expert in environmental education and sustainability and in territory teaching. She is the author of documentaries and naturalistic books, notebooks and interdisciplinary teaching aids, and multimedia information materials.

Translation by Maria Antonietta Sessa