Anthony, Lawrence 1950–
Anthony, Lawrence 1950–
Born 1950, in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Environmentalist, conservationist, and writer. Thula Thula game reserve, Province of Kwa-Zulu, South Africa, head of conservation; The Earth Organization, founder, 2003. Also coformed first Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in Iraq.
(With Graham Spence) Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Longtime head conservationist on the Thula Thula game reserve in South Africa, Lawrence Anthony directed the amazing rescue of the Baghdad Zoo following the invasion of Iraq by the United States, Great Britain, and their coalition in 2003. The story of the zoo's rescue is told in Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo, which Anthony wrote with Graham Spence. In the book, Anthony recounts how he made his decision to save the zoo as he watched the invasion on television from South Africa and recalled how other zoos had fared during wartime. The memoir follows Anthony as he arrives in Iraq, begins repairing cages and other facilities in a badly damaged zoo, and then fights for the zoo's survival, at no small risk to himself. "The story of the zoo is in many ways a microcosm of what happened in Baghdad in those first chaotic, hopeful and ultimately disheartening months," wrote Joshua Kucera in the San Francisco Chronicle. Babylon's Ark has received favorable reviews from the critics. "Heartfelt, but never treacly … animal lovers will shed tears … [while others] will find their souls stirred with the injustice doled out to defenseless creatures," wrote a contributor to the Kaite's Book Shelf Web site. Nancy Bent, writing in Booklist, commented that the author's "obvious love of animals and his anger at what they suffer … [lends] poignancy and immediacy to the story."
Anthony told CA: "I wanted to record my real life experiences with wildlife. The opportunity came during the war in Iraq when I found my way into Baghdad during the coalition invasion to help the abandoned animals of the Baghdad Zoo. My work is influenced by my experiences with the natural world.
"When writing, I recall actual life experiences, which I place on tape and structure these experiences into a story. I have a coauthor who will draft a rough chapter and then we work together to complete it. The most surprising thing I have learned as a writer is how involved readers get in the story. I hope that my work communicates to readers."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Anthony, Lawrence, and Graham Spence, Babylon's Ark: The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo, Thomas Dunne Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Booklist, February 1, 2007, Nancy Bent, review of Babylon's Ark, p. 10.
Entertainment Weekly, March 9, 2007, Josh Rottenberg, review of Babylon's Ark, p. 113.
Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2006, review of Babylon's Ark, p. 1250.
Publishers Weekly, December 11, 2006, review of Babylon's Ark, p. 54.
San Francisco Chronicle, March 16, 2007, Joshua Kucera, "One Man's Quest to Save Iraq Zoo after US Invasion."
SciTech Book News, June, 2007, review of Babylon's Ark.
Kaite's Book Shelf,http://kaitesbookshelf.blogspot.com/ (June 10, 2007), "Welcome to the Condemned Monkey House," review of Babylon's Ark.
Lawrence Anthony Home Page,http://www.lawrenceanthony.co.za (October 14, 2007).
Paraview,http://www.paraview.com/ (October 14, 2007), biography of author.