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Entangled Life, Merlin Sheldrake

Merlin Sheldrake,

Entangled Life

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Merlin Sheldrake
Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures
368 pages 

To celebrate her solo exhibition, Green in the Grooves at Camden Art Centre, we offer Tamara Henderson's reading list exclusively selected by the artist.

In this captivating adventure, Merlin Sheldrake explores the spectacular and neglected world of fungi: endlessly surprising organisms that sustain nearly all living systems. They can solve problems without a brain, stretching traditional definitions of ‘intelligence’, and can manipulate animal behaviour with devastating precision. In giving us bread, alcohol and life-saving medicines, fungi have shaped human history, and their psychedelic properties, which have influenced societies since antiquity, have recently been shown to alleviate a number of mental illnesses. The ability of fungi to digest plastic, explosives, pesticides and crude oil is being harnessed in break-through technologies, and the discovery that they connect plants in underground networks, the ‘Wood Wide Web’, is transforming the way we understand ecosystems. Yet they live their lives largely out of sight, and over ninety percent of their species remain undocumented.