Kirk Wallace Johnson will Present his New Softcover ~ The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century

EVENT OVERVIEW:  Kirk Wallace Johnson will Present his New Softcover The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century accompanied by a Multimedia Presentation.  This Event is Co-Presented by Rainy Day Books, The Kansas City Public Library & Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Kirk Wallace Johnson is the Author of To Be a Friend Is Fatal and the Founder of the List Project to Resettle Iraqi Allies.  His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among others.  He is the recipient of Fellowships from Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony, The American Academy in Berlin, and The USC Annenberg Center.

ABOUT THE FEATHER THIEF:  A rollicking true-crime adventure and a captivating journey into an underground world of fanatical fly-tiers and plume peddlers, for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief.

On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History.  Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins--some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin's, Alfred Russel Wallace, who'd risked everything to gather them--and escaped into the darkness.

2 Years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist.  He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief.  What would possess a person to steal dead birds?  Had Edwin paid the price for his crime?  What became of the missing skins?  In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation.  The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man's destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.


“[A]bsorbing…though it’s non-fiction, The Feather Thief contains many of the elements of a classic thriller.” ~ NPR’s FRESH AIR

“Johnson has written a fascinating book—the kind of intelligent reported account that alerts us to a threat and that, one hopes, will never itself be endangered.” ~ The Wall Street Journal

Johnson, like Susan Orlean before him, is a magnifier: he sees grand themes—naïveté, jealousy, depression, the entitlement of man—in, say, the plumes of the king bird-of-paradise, collected by the nineteenth-century naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace between bouts of fever in the Pacific. That vision makes a book about things like Victorian salmon fly tiers feel heavy as gold.­­” ~ The New Yorker

“Fascinating…a complex tale of greed, deception and ornithological sabotage.” ~ The New York Times

DATE & TIME:  Wednesday, May 01, 2019, at 6:30 PM

LOCATION:  A Rainy Day Books Author Event at The Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Truman Forum, 4801 Main Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64112

EVENT FORMAT:  Kirk Wallace Johnson will Present his New Softcover The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century accompanied by a Multilmedia Presentation, and answer audience questions.  A Meet & Greet Booksigning will follow the Presentation.

ADMISSION PACKAGE:  This is a Complimentary OPEN House Event.  Registration is Required at or Call the Library at 816-701-3407.  Rainy Day Books will have Kirk Wallace Johnson's Books for Sale at this Event, or you may Pre-Order for In-Store or At-Event Pick-Up through the link below.  Seating is General Admission.

DISCLAIMER:  All Author Event sales are final and non-refundable.  Kansas Sales Tax is charged on all Orders, regardless of destination.  Unless otherwise indicated, Authors will only sign Books purchased from Rainy Day Books.  Additional Signed Books are available for purchase at our Author Event.

Event date: 
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - 6:30pm
Event address: 
The Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Truman Forum
4801 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64112

AUTOGRAPHED BOOK: Author Autographed Softcover of The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Wallace Johnson.

Author Genre Terms: 

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