When my family flew to Greece to visit cousins I had never met, my mother brought a small pocketbook edition of Durrell's classic My Family and Other Animals and read it aloud to my then 5-year-old daughter. On a small sailboat winging across the Mediterranean we learned about 10-year-old Gerald, a budding naturalist, his brother Lawrence, and the rest of their quirky family during the years they lived on the Greek island of Corfu. This book is a love letter to the natural world, laugh-out-loud funny, touching, and replete with characters that are at once familiar and bizarre. It was my daughter's favorite bedtime story until she fired me from reading to her before bed, and seventeen years later this is still our favorite read aloud.
The first book Gerald Durrell's Corfu Trilogy a bewitching account of a rare and magical childhood on the island of Corfu, now the inspiration for The Durrells in Corfu on Masterpiece PBS
When the unconventional Durrell family can no longer endure the damp, gray English climate, they do what any sensible family would do: sell their house and relocate to the sunny Greek isle of Corfu. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the island but ended up as a delightful account of Durrell's family's experiences, from the many eccentric hangers-on to the ceaseless procession of puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, bats, and butterflies into their home.
About the Author
Gerald Durrell was born in Jamshedpur, India, in 1925. A student of zoology, he founded the Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust on the Channel Island of Jersey. His other books include A Zoo in My Luggage and The Whispering Land (both available from Penguin).