Wendy Williams

Award-Winning Journalist and Author


The Curious, Exciting, and Slightly Disturbing Science of Squid
By Wendy Williams
Published by Harry N. Abrams
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Kraken is the traditional name for gigantic sea monsters, and this book introduces one of the most charismatic, enigmatic, and curious inhabitants of the sea: the squid. The pages take the reader on a wild narrative ride through the world of squid science and adventure, along the way addressing some riddles about what intelligence is, and what monsters lie in the deep. In addition to squid, both giant and otherwise, Kraken examines other equally enthralling cephalopods, including the octopus and the cuttlefish, and explores their otherworldly abilities, such as camouflage and bioluminescence. Accessible and entertaining, Kraken is also the first substantial volume on the subject in more than a decade and a must for fans of popular science.


"Williams writes with a deft, supple hand as she surveys these spindly, extraordinary beasts and their world. She reminds us that the known world might be considerably larger than in the days of the bestiary-makers, but there is still room for wonder and strangeness."
Los Angeles Times.com

"Williams's account of squid, octopuses, and other cephalopods abounds with both ancient legend and modern science." 

"[Exposes squid's] eerie similarities to the human species, down to eye structure and the all-important brain cell, the neuron." 
New York Post 

"just the right mix of history and science" 
ForeWord Reviews

"Kraken is an engaging and expansive biography of a creature that sparks our imagination and stimulates our curiosity. It's a perfect blend of storytelling and science." 
Vincent Pieribone, author of Aglow in the Dark

"KRAKEN extracts pure joy, intellectual exhilaration, and deep wonder from the most unlikely of places—squid. It is hard to read Wendy Williams's luminous account and not feel the thrill of discovery of the utterly profound connections we share with squid and all other living things on the planet. With wit, passion, and skill as a storyteller, Williams has given us a beautiful window into our world and ourselves.
— Neil Shubin, author of the national bestseller Your Inner Fish

"Wendy William's KRAKEN weaves vignettes of stories about historical encounters with squid and octopus, with stories of today's scientists who are captivated by these animals. Her compelling book has the power to change your world-view about these creatures of the sea, while telling the gripping, wholly comprehensible story of the ways in which these animals have changed human medical history.
— Mark J. Spalding, President, The Ocean Foundation

"Williams is a fine writer and takes us on an engaging and informative journey through the world of cephalopod science..."
— John Farndon, The Spectator

"The giant squid is now accepted as a fact of oceanic life and I have been revelling in all squid in the recently published American book Kraken...."
— Simon Barnes, The Times of London

Hardcover | 224 pages | 6 x 9 inches | 978-0810984653 | March 1, 2011