Still Waters: The Secret World of Lakes

Curt Stager

W.W. Norton & Company, 2018

Agent: Sandra Dijkstra

A fascinating exploration of lakes around the world, from Walden Pond to the Dead Sea.

Lakes are changing rapidly today, not because we are separate from nature but because we are so connected to it. But while many of our effects on the natural world are new, from climate change to nuclear fallout, our connections to it are ancient, as core samples from lake beds reveal. In Still Waters, Curt Stager introduces us to the secret worlds hidden within lakes as he travels from the Adirondack wilderness to the wilds of Siberia, from Massachusetts to the Middle East. For him, lakes are both mirrors and windows into history, culture, and our primal connections to all life. Stager fills his narrative with strange and enchanting details about these submerged worlds? diving insects chirping underwater like crickets, African crater lakes that explode, the growing threats to Thoreau’s cherished pond? while emphasizing how beautiful and precious our lakes are, and how, more than ever, it is essential to protect them. 


“Curt Stager is as fine a teacher as I have ever encountered, both in the classroom and on the page. You will learn something new in every paragraph of this book, and the vivid writing will make it stick in your brain. For those of us who love the planet's lakes, this is like a long, cool drink of the freshest water.”
Bill McKibben, author of Radio Free Vermont

“Curt Stager is an eloquent story-teller. He guides us not only into the fascinating ecological worlds that dwell within lakes, but also demonstrates that our own nature, both biological and cultural, cannot be understood apart from our many interconnections with these living waters.” 
David George Haskell, author of The Songs of Trees and The Forest Unseen