What A Mushroom Lives For Saki Murotani October 26, 2022
YEAR

2022

AUTHOR

Michael J. Hathaway

PUBLISHER

Princeton University Press

What a Mushroom Lives For:
Matsutake and the Worlds They Make

A surprise-filled journey into science and human culture, this exciting and provocative book shows how fungi shape our planet and our lives in strange, diverse, and often unimaginable ways.

Watercolour Illustration
A range of fungal forms

Fungi are like animals in several ways, for indeed we are both within the larger category... opisthokonts. This means we each need to consume other organisms to survive... Moreover, we both breathe in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Some fungi eat live animals, hunting them with snare traps and sticky nets.

MICHAEL J. HATHAWAY

The microscopic fungi are all around us, ... yeast that transforms wheat into bread, barley into beer, and grapes into wine.

MICHAEL J. HATHAWAY

Fungi, thus, bring bread into being, but they can also take it away from us, as many people keep bread until blue mold appears in ever expanding circles.

MICHAEL J. HATHAWAY

Next time you're at a cemetery, study the lichens growing on tombstones, as mycologist Anne Pringle does. While the stones represent human death, they may offer lichens a site for potential immortality.

MICHAEL J. HATHAWAY
Customized design

Maps

In Southwest China's Yunnan Province, high on the Tibetan Plateau, you can climb a hillside at dawn during the late summer and early fall, and looking down, although the night is ending rather than beginning, it will seem as if stars are coming out in the valley below. They are flashlights, carried by villagers walking up into mountains to hunt for matsutake mushrooms.

MICHAEL J. HATHAWAY