If you ache to write. . .


I'm teaching another online workshop for UCLA Extension this spring. My Intermediate Creative Nonfiction class starts April 7. Here's more info.

Time's Top Ten Animal Attacks


What does it take to make it into the top ten animal attacks? Beats me. Notoriety? Having a photo? It's the photos that made me want to share this.

Praise for Deadly Kingdom



My publisher says I should brag more about Deadly Kingdom. So: Here's what other writers have said about it:

“Did he say repugnatorial gland? What a wealth of information Gordon Grice is, and what a fine, beguiling writer. This book is a must for anyone even remotely thinking of getting a monkey, a sea lion, or, heaven forbid, a dog.” – David Sedaris

“A wonderful, slightly terrifying, utterly captivating encounter with the animal world—not quite like anything I’ve ever read before.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed

“Deadly Kingdom is an engagingly original field guide to the venomous, the sharp-clawed, the infectious, and the downright predatory. It’s a witty, fascinating, and playfully macabre read.” – David Baron, author of The Beast in the Garden

“Deadly Kingdom is sometimes gory, always gorgeous, and really great. Gordon Grice is a warm and funny guide, his fingers always on the facts. There are amazing stories here, fascinating people and places, but above all, there are the animals we thought we knew, and the ones we’ve never heard of: hagfish, guinea worms, eyelash vipers, blister beetles. You’ll never go barefoot in the barnyard again.” – Bill Roorbach, author of Temple Stream: A Rural Odyssey

“Deadly Kingdom makes it clear that you are not on top of the food chain.” – Pamela Nagami, M.D., author of Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings

What Eats People, Part 12: Wolves


In Alaska, it appears that a woman was killed by wolves the other day. They're waiting for autopsy results to be sure.


It's rare for wolves to succeed in killing a person in North America. In Europe there's a far more extensive history of wolves preying on people; in Asia, wolves are still occasional predators of children.

Random House gives free sample


Random House has posted an excerpt from Deadly Kingdom on its website. You may learn something about Christopher Columbus . . . and his dogs. Or at least about me and my dogs.

Dangerous Milk


In her short story "The Enduring Chill," Flannery O'Connor described the symptoms of a character who unwisely drank unpasteurized milk: "Alone in his freezing flat, huddled under his two blankets and his overcoat and with three thicknesses of the New York Times between, he had had a chill one night, followed by a violent sweat that left the sheets soaking and removed all doubt from his mind about his true condition. Before this there had been a gradual slackening of his energy and vague inconsistent aches and headaches."

Many animals, from rabbits to dogs, can spread the Brucella bacterium to people, but the main route of transmission is through the milk of cattle and goats. Worldwide, about half a million people a year get the resulting disease, which is called brucellosis or undulant fever. Napoleon suffered from it. He was supposedly in the clutches of its fever at Waterloo.

Speaking of Napoleon, the movie Napoleon Dynamite provides another case. We see Napoleon's friend Pedro triumphing at the livestock judging competition, during which he correctly diagnoses the impurities in milk by taste. Watch the movie and see how Pedro looks after that.
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