The Serviceberry: Abundance and Reciprocity in the Natural World (Hardcover)

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The Serviceberry: Abundance and Reciprocity in the Natural World By Robin Wall Kimmerer, John Burgoyne (Illustrator) Cover Image

The Serviceberry: Abundance and Reciprocity in the Natural World (Hardcover)

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Braiding Sweetgrass, a bold and inspiring vision for how to orient our lives around gratitude, reciprocity, and community, based on the lessons of the natural world.

As Indigenous scientist and author of Braiding Sweetgrass Robin Wall Kimmerer harvests serviceberries alongside the birds, she considers the ethic of reciprocity that lies at the heart of the gift economy. How, she asks, can we learn from Indigenous wisdom and the plant world to reimagine what we value most? Our economy is rooted in scarcity, competition, and the hoarding of resources, and we have surrendered our values to a system that actively harms what we love. Meanwhile, the serviceberry’s relationship with the natural world is an embodiment of reciprocity, interconnectedness, and gratitude. The tree distributes its wealth—its abundance of sweet, juicy berries—to meet the needs of its natural community. And this distribution insures its own survival. As Kimmerer explains, “Serviceberries show us another model, one based upon reciprocity, where wealth comes from the quality of your relationships, not from the illusion of self-sufficiency.”

As Elizabeth Gilbert writes, Robin Wall Kimmerer is “a great teacher, and her words are a hymn of love to the world.” The Serviceberry is an antidote to the broken relationships and misguided goals of our times, and a reminder that “hoarding won’t save us, all flourishing is mutual.”
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants as well as Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses. Kimmerer is a 2022 MacArthur Fellow. She lives in Syracuse, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment.

John Burgoyne is a member of the New York Society of Illustrators and an alumni of Massachusetts College of Art. John has won over 100 awards in the United States and Europe including Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Hatch Awards, Graphis, Print, One Show, New York Art Directors Club and Clio. His work can be found at JohnTBurgoyneIllustration.com.

Product Details ISBN: 9781668072240
ISBN-10: 1668072246
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date: November 19th, 2024
Pages: 96
Language: English
Praise for Braiding Sweetgrass

“Robin Wall Kimmerer is writer of rare grace. She writes about the natural world from a place of such abundant passion that one can never quite see the world the same way after having seen it through Kimmerer’s eyes. In Braiding Sweetgrass, she takes us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise. She is a great teacher, and her words are a hymn of love to the world.” —Elizabeth Gilbert

“Robin Wall Kimmerer has written an extraordinary book, showing how the factual, objective approach of science can be enriched by the ancient knowledge of the indigenous people. It is the way she captures beauty that I love the most—the images of giant cedars and wild strawberries, a forest in the rain and a meadow of fragrant sweetgrass will stay with you long after you read the last page.” —Jane Goodall

“I give daily thanks for Robin Wall Kimmerer for being a font of endless knowledge, both mental and spiritual.”—Richard Powers, The New York Times

“Robin Wall Kimmerer opens a sense of wonder and humility for the intelligence in all kinds of life we are used to naming and imagining as inanimate.” —Krista Tippett, host of On Being