ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, HarperCollins, 10 E. 53rd St., New York, NY 10022.
(With Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson) When ElephantsWeep: The Emotional Lives of Animals, J. Cape (London, England), 1994, Delacorte Press (New York, NY), 1995.
Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to periodicals and Web sites, including Wired, Science News, and Salon.com.
SIDELIGHTS: Susan McCarthy is coauthor with psychoanalyst Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson of When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals, in which they argue that animals experience many of the same emotions humans do and that animal behavior is not driven exclusively by cognition. They cite examples, such as the tenderness displayed by apes when a bird crashes into their cage and the unexplained sadness and death of a circus horse two months after her stablemate died. The authors note instances of compassion among animals, such as when a herd of elephants wait for a female who is trailing behind carrying a dead calf. They decry animal experimentation and the scientific dismissal of feelings in animals in view of what they consider clear evidence.
"Yet When Elephants Weep is not simply a sentimental portrayal of animal life," noted Mark Gold in New Statesman. "The darker side of their emotions is fully acknowledged. Animals sometimes go to war, inflict cruelty, display indifference to suffering, illtreat subordinates, show wanton aggression, jealousy—again, just like us."
McCarthy's Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild combines scientific evidence and anecdotal observation by zoologists, biologists, zookeepers, animal rehabilitators, and others who are in a position to closely observe animal behavior. She notes ways in which animal parents guide their offspring, using such techniques as example, play, and repetition to establish their natural patterns. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called the volume "a prodigious summation of accepted and conjectural animal-learning capabilities, agreeably witty and bell-clear."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, May 15, 1995, Ray Olson, review of WhenElephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals, p. 1620; May 1, 2004, Nancy Bent, review of Becoming a Tiger: How Baby Animals Learn to Live in the Wild, p. 1533.
Financial Post, August 19, 1995, Sue Sutton, review of When Elephants Weep, p. 22.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2004, review of Becoming aTiger, p. 432.
Library Journal, May 1, 2004, Alvin Hutchinson, review of Becoming a Tiger, p. 137.
Maclean's, July 31, 1995, Joe Chidley, review of WhenElephants Weep, p. 46.
New Statesman, September 23, 1994, Mark Gold, review of When Elephants Weep, p. 36.
People, July 3, 1995, Pam Lambert, review of WhenElephants Weep, p. 27.
Publishers Weekly, March 27, 1995, review of WhenElephants Weep, p. 67; April 26, 2004, review of Becoming a Tiger, p. 48.
Queen's Quarterly, fall, 1996, review of WhenElephants Weep, pp. 606-613.
Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (August 31, 2004), Katharine Mieszkowski, interview with McCarthy.*