The Orchid Thief

12/24 I just completed The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean. I discovered this book serendipitously. I think I first came upon the title in a small review of the book in one of those book review magazines you can get at Books a Million. Then, a friend told me of her love of Black Orchid perfume, and I thought the imagery might lead to a good poem or story, so I researched the perfume, then black orchids, then orchids, then orchid hunters. I kept coming upon the title of this book, so I read some more reviews and then ordered it.

I was not disappointed. The book is a wonderful example of creative nonfiction.
Of course, Susan Orlean is a fascinating writer, passionate for and dedicated to her craft. You can read a good bio and review of her writing here: or at her personal website:

The book is captivating. In fact, if I were to ever teach a course in creative nonfiction, I would use this book. There is a prologue with Susan Orlean