Sharon Kirsch is a writer and editor whose travel stories have appeared in the Washington Post, the Globe and Mail and the Los Angeles Times. What Species of Creatures, her non-fiction book about the first Europeans in Canada and their encounters with exotic “beasts,” is a recommended title from Canada’s National History Society. “Animals Out of Turn,” a selection from a larger work in progress, imagines how the arts, scientific understanding, alchemy and even culinary tradition shape our interactions with other species.

Sharon is also at work on a first-person narrative that begins with a search for buried treasure in her family home. Set against the backdrop of her mother’s failing memory, the search broadens to family members who’ve been misplaced—hidden by design or forgotten over time. As so often in her writing, Sharon here considers how individuals are transformed by personal loss and other experiences of the new and unfamiliar.