A World for My Daughter

An Ecologist's Search for Optimism

Alejandro Frid

As an ecologist, Alejandro Frid is haunted by the irrevocable changes that humans are forcing upon Earth—the loss of ancient forests, the demise of large predators, shifts in the chemistry and circulation patterns of the atmosphere and more.

Feeling completely discouraged by his research on endangered species and various forms of ecological meltdown, Alejandro accepts defeat and simply escapes from this world without a future by retreating to Earth’s few remaining wild places. Then Twyla Bella, his daughter, is born. He wonders, how can he bring a child into a world he believes is doomed? Does this very belief make the situation hopeless? Faced with these questions, Alejandro begins his search for optimism.

A World for My Daughter takes readers to the sharp knife-edge on which the fate of the biosphere rests. Merging the perspective of a scientist compelled to share the significance of his research, glimpses into the worldview of modern indigenous hunters and the voice of a parent speaking to his child about life’s conundrums, A World for My Daughter steers readers toward imagining their own role in preserving the vibrancy of our planet.

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“Frid is a fighter and he tells some great tales in A World for My Daughter. More importantly, his book reminds readers that we all have a duty to act in the best interests of the planet. He’s set a powerful example not only for the public, but also for his fellow scientists.”

Georgia Straight

“…Frid demonstrates his belief that the portfolio of the concerned scientist at present necessarily includes politics. But his letters are not only lessons for his daughter. They also show the interplay of mutual learning that makes parenthood an experience of growth and education for parent and child alike.”

— BC Studies

There are all kinds of reasons that different readers should appreciate this book. I was insufferable reading A World for My Daughter, even if I restrained myself from reading it aloud to everyone around me the whole time. If a copy isn’t under every Christmas tree this year, I’ll be very disappointed in all of you.”

–Richard Pickard, Book Addiction

“A deep, abiding love of nature and people overshadows Frid’s self-described struggle with nihilism. That love is found in his use of language. He vividly, and often poetically, describes places. In his choice of stories, he seamlessly connects the environment to social justice. The book is never dull as Frid travels from one fascinating ecosystem to the next and, with a meticulous eye, takes us on his journeys through ice caps in a kayak to quiet hours spent in Howe Sound.”

–Anne Watson, National Observer

“The greatest scientists are those unafraid to reveal the passion that drives their fascination. Alejandro Frid is one of these rare few: an ecologist and a dreamer, a mystic and a mathematician. His letters to his daughter Twyla Bella are truly letters to us all, explaining how we can come to love the living planet—and then fight for what we love.”

–J.B. MacKinnon, author of The Once and Future World and The 100-Mile Diet

“I found myself up to all hours of the evening reading this book. It’s the right book at precisely the right time. It’s totally brilliant. It tackles the singular issue of our day and does it with equal parts (approachable) scholarly grace and poignant personal reflection.”

–Chris Darimont, Hakai-Raincoast Professor of Conservation Science, University of Victoria

“Dr. Frid writes letters to Twyla Bella about his adventures in the depths of rolling troughs and along the mighty crests that always follow … fantastic adventures that we seldom see and, while waves are endless, it might not be so for such journeys.”

–Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, author of Red: A Haida Manga and Old Growth

“This is a book I wish I would have written for my own daughter. Having said that…it’s a book for everyone.”

–Robert Semeniuk, author of Among the Inuit

“Communicating these complex and interdisciplinary topics in an accessible manner to drive social change requires stories in which readers not only engage the mind, but also with the heart. Frid writes both in the language of science as well as the heart.”

–Maï Yasué, PhD, professor and tutor in Conservation and Development, Quest University Canada

“Dr. Alejandro Frid is living proof that one can be a prominent and dedicated scientist and still convey deep feelings and heartfelt emotion. This inspiring book presents a series of engrossing accounts that combine factual knowledge based on careful ecological research with compellingly personal experiences and reflections. Some of the stories filled me with anguish and others with fascination and joy. The book is a one-way conversation with Alejandro’s little daughter, Twyla Bella. He shares with this precious child his love of the natural world, his worries about environmental loss and destruction, and most of all his intense commitment to her future, and to the future of humanity. He acknowledges the many negative and destructive forces that threaten the future of humans and of the natural world, yet remains empathetic and enduringly optimistic. In doing so, he fills his readers with hope and determination. Twyla Bella, you will come to realize that you are supremely fortunate, to have such parents who care so deeply for you and for all your relations–human and non-human alike. Your life will surely be filled with beauty, wonder and love.”

–Nancy J. Turner, author, ethnobotonist, and Distinguished Professor and Hakai Professor in Ethnoecology

Dr. Alejandro Frid mentioned in Nature (Journal) on the mental well-being of writing about dark topics in science.