Alexandra Marshall


Still Waters

  • Hardcover
  • 1978
  • Morrow
  • ISBN: 0688033423

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Beautifully illustrated with photographs in black and white and color, this extraordinary book takes us to the edge of a North American freshwater pond and reveals a whole new world before our eyes. Still Waters was prepared in conjunction with the Nova film of the same name, produced by Peace River Films for WGBH Educational Foundation.

The view is spectacular ... "a vision for the reader ... a masterly piece of work." (May Sarton) Season by season an entire universe unfolds, filled with living things, teeming with inexplicable mysteries and relationships, unpredictable violence and transient harmonies.

Adapting quickly to the fundamental technique of scientific observation—simply to go into the field, set up. sit, and wait—Alexandra Marshall gently explores the alien domain of the research scientist and observes the landscape firsthand with the gifted eye of a poet.

What she shares with us in her highly personal narrative is unforgettable. Beginning with her perceptions of the stark beauty of winter and depicting in minute detail each changing phase during the course of a year. Still Waters captures nature at its most dramatic and peaceful moments as it reveals the miraculous, life-sustaining and, ultimately, us all.


"Marshall's prose is elegant and vibrant and fresh. ... The sentences gleam like crystal." — Lee Grove, Boston Magazine

"Alexandra Marshall's account of her year-long observation of a New England beaver pond shows that those waters are anything but still. The pond and its environs brim with life as does the affecting narrative written with a poet's feeling and a scientist's attention to detail. Not since Thoreau have experiences surrounding a Massachusetts pond been as worthy of our attention." The Christian Science Monitor (Editor's Choice)