Story Behind the Story

Episode 26: Jeff VanderMeer - HUMMINGBIRD SALAMANDER

April 3rd, 2021

Over his 35 year career, Jeff VanderMeer has published more than a dozen novels, and his non-fiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic, Slate, Salon, and the Washington Post. His genre-defying novels and short stories frequently engage with ecological themes, including climate change, causing the New Yorker to dub him “weird Thoreau.” In 2014, Annihilation, the first book in his New York Times-bestselling Southern Reach trilogy, won the Nebula and Shirley Jackson Awards for Best Novel; it was adapted into a movie in 2018.

In this episode, I talk to Jeff about his newest novel, Hummingbird Salamander, which comes out on early next week. It follows a security analyst named Jane as she tries to unravel the mystery of a taxidermied extinct hummingbird gifted to her by an ecoterrorist.