by Edward D. Melillo

A fascinating, entertaining dive into the long-standing relationship between humans and insects, revealing the surprising ways we depend on these tiny, six-legged creatures.

Insects might make us shudder in disgust, but they are also responsible for many of the things we take for granted in our daily lives. When we bite into a shiny apple, listen to the resonant notes of a violin, get dressed, receive a dental implant, or get a manicure, we are the beneficiaries of a vast army of insects. Try as we might to replicate their raw material (silk, shellac, and cochineal, for instance), our artificial substitutes have proven subpar at best, and at worst toxic, ensuring our interdependence with the insect world for the foreseeable future.

Interview with the Author

Skylight Books Podcast Series
SKYLIT: Edward Melillo, “The Butterfly Effect”
3/26/21       44 min

The World in Time / Lapham’s Quarterly
Episode 62: Edward D. Melillo
11/27/20       39 min

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