Daniel Quinn

For other people with this name, see Daniel Quinn (disambiguation).
Daniel Quinn
Born 11 October 1935 (1935-10-11) (age 76)[1]
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Occupation Writer

ishmael.org

Daniel Quinn (born 11 October 1935 in Omaha, Nebraska) is an American writer described as an environmentalist. He is best known for his book Ishmael (1992), which won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship Award in 1991. Quinn does not, however, identify himself as an "environmentalist," pointing out that the term evokes the notion of something that is "out there," and somehow "not us." The typical conception of environmentalism, Quinn argues, is one of a false-dichotomy --- a false division that says there's "the environment," and then there's "us humans" living in the environment (and somehow not a part of it).

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Biography

Daniel Quinn was born in Omaha, Nebraska, where he graduated from Creighton Preparatory School. He went on to study at Saint Louis University, at University of Vienna, Austria through IES Abroad, and at Loyola University, receiving a bachelor's degree in English, cum laude, in 1957.

In 1975, he abandoned his career as a publisher to become a freelance writer. Quinn is best known for his book Ishmael (1992), which won the Turner Tomorrow Fellowship Award in 1991. This fellowship was established to encourage authors to seek "creative and positive solutions to global problems". Ishmael is the first of a trilogy including The Story of B, and My Ishmael. The 1999 film Instinct started from parts of this story.

Ishmael and its sequels brought ever-increasing fame to Quinn throughout the 1990s, and he became a very well known author to certain segments of the environmental movement, the simplicity movement, the anarchist movement and Anarcho-primitivism movements. Quinn has traveled widely to lecture and discuss his books.

While response to Ishmael was mostly very positive, Quinn inspired a great deal of controversy with his claim (most explicitly discussed in the appendix section of The Story of B) that since population growth is a function of food supply, sustained food aid to impoverished nations merely puts off and dramatically worsens a massive population-environment crisis. This crisis is born of a disconnect between local humans and the local habitat with its food. Quinn claims that ending this disconnect is a proven way to avoid famines.

In 1998 Quinn collaborated with environmental biologist Alan D. Thornhill, PhD, in producing Food Production and Population Growth, a 2 hour 40 minute video (later DVD) elaborating in depth the ideas presented in his books.

Quinn's book Tales of Adam was released in 2005 after a long bankruptcy scuffle with its initially scheduled publisher. It is designed to be a look through the animist's eyes in seven short tales.

In 2010, James Jay Lee, the perpetrator of the Discovery Communications headquarters hostage crisis, cited Quinn's novel 'My Ishmael in his manifesto of demands.[2] Quinn characterized Lee as a "fanatic" who had distorted his ideas.[3]

Related authors include Jean Liedloff, Derrick Jensen, John Zerzan, Edward Goldsmith, and Fredy Perlman.

Quinn currently lives in Houston, Texas with his wife Rennie.

Bibliography

Key concepts

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External links



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