Actress Jane Alexander’s two great passions are art and nature, and it is the latter that brings her to Wilton Library to discuss her love of wild things and places on Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 7-8:30 p.m.. In her new book, Wild Things, Wild Places: Adventurous Tales of Wildlife and Conservation on Planet Earth, Alexander shares a lifetime of travel to some of the world’s most exotic places where she has spent time with some of the most endangered species.
Her book is a personal look at the vastly changing world of wildlife on planet Earth as a result of human incursion, and the crucial work of animal and bird preservation across the globe being done by scientists, field biologists, zoologists, environmentalists and conservationists.
Perhaps best known for her appearances in such films as Kramer vs Kramer, All the President’s Men, Brubaker, The Cider House Rules and more, Alexander also has spent most of her life immersed in the natural world. With her mother’s upbringing in Nova Scotia by the sea, Alexander learned the names of birds at a very early age and lived in Frederick Law Olmstead’s house in Brookline, MA surrounded by his original landscaping and gardens–her first introduction to the beauty of nature.
In her life as a conservationist, Alexander has had the opportunity to meet and work with George Schaller, the renowned field biologist who visited Wilton Library last year. In an interview with National Geographic, Alexander said that Schaller taught her, “…that conservation is not an event; it’s a process…if you have the attitude that everything you meet in the natural world and life has its own reason for being, and you’re not there to destroy it, then it becomes an attitude about life.”
This attitude is captured throughout her new book. In Wild Things, Wild Places, Alexander writes of her steady and fervent immersion into the worlds of wildlife conservation, of her coming to know the scientists throughout the world—to her, the prophets in the wilderness—who are steeped in this work, of her travels with them, and on her own, to the most remote and forbidding areas of the world as they try to save many species including humanity.
Alexander was born and raised in Brookline, MA, and attended Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Edinburgh. She has appeared in more than twenty films, including those listed above and Testament, The Great White Hope, Sunshine State, Feast of Love, and Terminator Salvation. She has performed in more than 100 plays, among them The Great White Hope, The Visit and The Sisters Rosensweig, appearing on Broadway, London’s West End, and in regional theaters from Atlanta to LA. She has received, in addition to a Tony and two Emmys, four Academy Award nominations, an Obie, a Drama Desk Award, and a Theatre World Award, as well as being inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. She also served as chairperson of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The author talk is co-sponsored by Woodcock Nature Center and Wilton Library. A question and answer period will follow the talk. There is no charge for the program. Books will be available for purchase and signing courtesy of Elm Street Books. Registration is highly recommended.
Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Rd..