Florence Williams


A Natural and Unnatural History

This event includes a book signing


May 16, 2012
7:00 PM


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store is delighted to welcome award-winning science journalist FLORENCE WILLIAMS for a discussion of her first book, Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History.

Feted and fetishized, the breast is an evolutionary masterpiece. But in the modern world, the breast is changing. Breasts are getting bigger, arriving earlier and attracting newfangled chemicals. Increasingly, the odds are stacked against us in the struggle with breast cancer – even among men. What makes breasts so mercurial – and so vulnerable? Williams sets out to uncover the latest science from the fields of anthropology, biology, and medicine. Her investigation follows the life cycle of the breast from puberty to pregnancy to menopause, bringing her from a plastic surgeon’s office where she learns about the importance of cup size in Texas to a lab where she discovers the presence of environmental toxins in her own breast milk.

Along with being informative, Breasts is highly entertaining. Did you know that breasts are bigger than ever? That breast milk contains substances similar to cannabis? Or that it’s sold on the internet for 262 times the price of oil? Endowed with a witty and inquisitive voice, Williams explores where breasts came from, where they have ended up, and what we can do to save them.

"I certainly didn't think I could appreciate breasts more than I already did. This is a truly outstanding book! Written with humor and humanity, it is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the fascinating intersections between personal health, toxic chemicals, western culture and the medical profession. I couldn't put it down." —Bruce Lourie, co-author, Slow Death by Rubber Duck: The Secret Danger of Everyday Things 

Breasts is a smart, witty natural history of feminism by way of the body and health. At a time when all things female seem to frighten those in power, Florence Williams offers an intelligent antidote. She is more than a trustworthy writer. She is a reasoned intelligence with a sense of humor.”  —Terry Tempest Williams, author of Refuge and When Women Were Birds

Florence Williams
Florence Williams

Florence Williams

Florence Williams is a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado's Journalism School and a contributing editor at Outside magazine. She also works as a freelance writer for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, Mother Jones, High Country News, National Geographic Traveler, Runner's World, Skiing, Bicycling, and numerous other publications. Her work often focuses on the environment, health, and science. She has received many awards, including six magazine awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and the John Hersey Prize at Yale.

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

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While we can't guarantee fulfillment of a signed book pre-order, our authors are almost always able to sign extra books to fulfill such orders.

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  • Add the book to your shopping cart and then click Checkout.
  • Specify in Order Comments that you want a signed copy of the book.
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Can I request a personalized inscription?
Unless otherwise noted, we are happy to take requests for the author to sign your book to a specific person, but we can't guarantee it. If you do get a personalized inscription, the book will be non-returnable. We will require credit card information when you place the order.

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Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
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