Reviews

Here’s what others have said about They Breathe Iron:

With They Breathe Iron, Linda Grashoff allows us to accompany her on an intimate journey of discovery, portrayed in 150 stunning photographs, concise scientific descriptions, and candid remarks. Along her beloved Vermilion River, puddles and damp rocks shimmer with colorful biofilms and clumps of iron oxides precipitated by the bacterium Leptothrix discophora and its close cousins. The skillful arrangement of chapters helps readers to visually appreciate the life history of these ancient specialized bacteria and our relationship with them. They Breathe Iron is a work of art and a scientific introduction to Grashoff’s passion for the physical world.—Lucy McCartan Manheim, Ph.D., retired geologist, United States Geological Survey

Linda Grashoff’s book encourages us to respect our natural world and take time to observe it, in part because it changes minute to minute. The arresting beauty of the photographs in They Breathe Iron is consistent from first to last. The colors and patterns in the images remind us of the debt artists owe to nature for providing not only inspiration but also the physical properties of substances that allow abstract concepts to become visual and visceral. The author’s extensive and compelling treatise is packed with facts and details that will satisfy a yearning to understand and appreciate the intersection of art and science.—Mark Ormond, curator, writer, art historian, teacher

The stunning beauty of these photographs seduced me to follow the text about the iron bacteria. There and in the photo captions this curious artist reveals the scientific origins and mechanisms of the mesmerizing colors and forms depicted. Grashoff’s exploration of this sublime aspect of nature has cultivated a mature and sensitive art–science talent worth following.—Cynthia Pannucci, founder–director, Art & Science Collaborations, Inc.

Biogeology and photography are a potent mix. Together they breathe beauty, and make for Linda Grashoff’s fascinating book.—Nancy Hellebrand, internationally exhibited photographer with work in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of the City of London, among other museums

This book is a brilliant combination of art and science. Linda Grashoff’s They Breathe Iron will change the way you look at those iridescent patches on rivers and make your mind soar at the wonders of our life on earth. Hers is a meticulous and strangely moving account of exploring the iron bacteria on Ohio’s Vermilion River. The combination of her simply amazing photographs and her craving to understand what she’s observing deserves a wide audience. The book gives both intellectual and visual pleasure. I suggest you hold it in your earth-loving hands, read it, and find that exquisite shiver too.—June Goodwin, writer, poet, author of Cry Amandla and coauthor with Ben Schiff of Heart of Whiteness: Afrikaners Face Black Rule in the New South Africa

Fantastic, wonderful, beautiful, engaging images and equally well-done text. Grashoff’s adventure and story of discovery read well. I was impressed with the flow of images and associated text, and the revealing of the author’s ever changing, maturing encounters with the Vermillion River that itself presents continually different physical and biotic faces, yet is in essence the same. What knocked off my socks and delighted me beyond words was “The Back Story.” The wheel of time has taken Grashoff on a torturous path to peaceful acceptance and gratitude. A true blessing.—Carl McDaniel, professor of biology, emeritus, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, author of At the Mercy of Nature: Shackleton’s Endurance Saga Give Promise for Our Future

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