Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Ed Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are.
The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squid with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people.
Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.
"You Only Live Twice is an intelligent ode to enchantment, to the possibilities that arise in their 'second lives' when all past expectations have been foreclosed."
– Chris Kraus
"The writing is out of the park — strong and surprising, a relay race of brilliant twirling, tossing thoughts back and forth like balletic rugby bros. Joynt and Hoolboom’s dances of disclosure are so courageous and generative, gifts to us all."
– John Greyson
The unspoken promise was that in our second life we would become the question to every answer, jumping across borders until they finally dissolved. Man and woman. Queer and straight.
Mike Hoolboom is an author and filmmaker based in Toronto. He has written four books, received more than thirty international film prizes, and enjoyed nine international retrospectives of his work.
Chase Joynt is a Toronto-based moving-image artist and writer who has exhibited his work internationally. He recently received a Mellon Fellowship in Arts Practice and Scholarship at the University of Chicago.