The Ginkgo is a story about the conflict between tradition and creativity. Creativity is symbolized by a girl who comes to a major university from an isolated ranch on the high plains; tradition is symbolized by the classmates she left behind. The girl comes of intellectual age through study of a single ginkgo tree, and her detailed letters to her teacher, as she explores a museum, a sculpture garden, and an art gallery. In the end, she writes a visionary cult-piece about America, a thousand years from now when her tree dies. The vision is not comforting, but it leaves us with a startling impression of the power of images that define our culture.
About the author:
John Janovy, Jr. (PhD, University of Oklahoma, 1965) is the author of seventeen books and over ninety scientific papers and book chapters. These books range from textbooks to science fiction to essays on athletics. He is now retired, but when an active faculty member held the Paula and D. B. Varner Distinguished Professorship in Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interest is parasitology. He has been Director of UNL’s Cedar Point Biological Station, Interim Director of the University of Nebraska State Museum, Assistant Dean of Arts and Sciences, and secretary-treasurer of the American Society of Parasitologists.
His teaching experiences include large-enrollment freshman biology courses, Field Parasitology at the Cedar Point Biological Station, Invertebrate Zoology, Parasitology, Organismic Biology, and numerous honors seminars. He has supervised thirty-two graduate students, and approximately 50 undergraduate researchers, including ten Howard Hughes scholars.
His honors include the University of Nebraska Distinguished Teaching Award, University Honors Program Master Lecturer, American Health Magazine book award (for Fields of Friendly Strife), State of Nebraska Pioneer Award, University of Nebraska Outstanding Research and Creativity Award, The Nature Conservancy Hero recognition, Nebraska Library Association Mari Sandoz Award, UNL Library Friend’s Hartley Burr Alexander Award, and the American Society of Parasitologists Clark P. Read Mentorship Award.read more
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