UNTAMED was selected by Barnes and Noble as one of the 18 Discover Great New Writers books for 2014. It’s the only biography selected and one of only five nonfiction works on the list. Look for UNTAMED on a dedicated shelf at the front of Barnes & Noble stores across the country beginning in May.

“Now THIS is an adventure story. “Untamed is the true-life saga of a brilliant, beautiful woman who became her own tall tale. Just to survive, Carol Ruckdeschel had to become as elusive and mysterious as the creatures she first set off into the wilderness to study. Hunted by her enemies, stalked by an ex-lover, living off the land, Ruckdeschel found herself locked in a battle of wits to stay alive and pursue her scientific passion. This is no Sad Girl On a One-Year Quest For Love and Backbone; Carol Ruckdeschel is on a mission, and she’s smart and lethal enough to deal with anyone who tries to stop her.”

—Christopher McDougall, author of the New York Times bestseller Born to Run

“Wild country produces wild people, who sometimes are just what’s needed to keep that wild cycle going. This is a memorable portrait.”

—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature, winner of the 2013 Gandhi Peace Award, founder of 350.org

“A true action hero, Carol Ruckdeschel is using her powers of insight, persuasion, and personal commitment to protect a wilderness island off the coast of Georgia. She’s not just bemoaning the tragic decline of the natural world that sustains all life on earth, humans and turtles included. She is also putting her own life on the line to save what’s left. Thanks to Carol, there is hope for wild creatures who have preceded humankind by hundreds of millions of years—and hope for an enduring future for ourselves as well.”

—Sylvia Earle, National Geographic explorer-in-residence, 2009 TED Prize winner, Time Magazine’s first Hero of the Planet, and author of The World Is Blue

“Carol Ruckdeschel isn’t quite your mother’s idea of a role model, but she is my idea of an inspiring woman. Her gifts are many, her commitment resolute, her contribution world-class. And boy—as you’ll read—has she had fun. What a story! It’s as beautiful as the island she loves.”
— Carl Safina, author of The View From Lazy Point and A Sea in Flames

“Open this book to the brine of salt marsh, the musk of turtles and sea breezes, and the astonishing story of Carol Ruckdeschel. From the first line I was captivated by this biography of a fierce and enigmatic passion for wildness, mesmerizing and beautiful. May we all learn something of love from it.”

—Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

“The best way to tell environmental stories, to get people to really pay attention to the real life risks out there to nature, biodiversity and the planet’s future, is not to fill them with gloom and doom but to hang them on a great character. Carol Ruckdeschel is a GREAT character!”

—Jon Bowermaster, National Geographic award-winning journalist, filmmaker, author, and adventurer

“This is going to be a winner. I loved it—and was even choked up a time or two by Carol’s passion to save wild Cumberland. An “undertow of awe” sweeps beneath the entire story. As Carol’s life reveals, the battles for wilderness are many and the victories are short-lived, but ultimately the fight comes down to one thing: pure, unwavering love.”

—Brooke Williams, author of Halflives: Reconciling Work and Wildness

“Get ready to inhale steaming carcasses, gun smoke, and salty sea air. Harlan has a magic touch for storytelling. He rings out every sensory detail in this compelling sketch of a controversial, no-holds-barred life.

—Jennifer S. Holland, National Geographic writer and New York Times bestselling author of Unlikely Friendships

Untamed is not only a page-turner but also a show-stopper. Its engaging protagonist, Carol Ruckdeschel—a combination of Jane Goodall and Annie Oakley—is kaleidoscopic in her paradoxes: ‘brutal and benevolent, savage and sympathetic, cutthroat and compassionate.’ Harlan has written an environmental classic that belongs on the shelf alongside Carson, Leopold, Muir, and Thoreau. This crafty, adventurous biography reads like a good novel and leaves readers in tears. It’s a tale of an American hero told by an American hero, and the collaboration is luminous.”

—Thomas Rain Crowe, author of Zoro’s Field: My Life in the Appalachian Woods