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Insects All Around Us

Steve Scher
06/10/2010 at 9:00 a.m.

We are surrounded by insects. They live in our beds. They swarm above us by the billions. Most people don't connect with the beetle that scurries under a rock. We don't often think of spiders as cuddly. Yet, they are like most living beings; they are born, they live, they try to foster their species, they die. They are important to the planet. For some people, they are inspiring, worthy of worship — even affection. Anthropologist Hugh Raffles is drawn to insects. His new book follows people who are also drawn, sometimes luridly, into the lives of insects.


Hugh Raffles is author of "Insectopedia." He is an anthropologist and teaches at the New School in New York City. He has written for Granta, Natural History. His work has appeared in academic journals and in "The Best American Essays." His first book was "In Amazonia: A Natural History."

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