Melissa Harris: A Wild Life A visual biography of photographer Michael Nichols
“Menaced by lizards in Indonesia, cuffed by a gorilla in Africa, stung by poisonous caterpillars in the world’s deepest cave”—so ran the lead to a 1985 article describing Michael “Nick” Nichols.
A Wild Life is Michael “Nick” Nichols’s story, told with passion and insight by author and photo-editor Melissa Harris. Nichols’ story combines a life of adventure, with a conviction about how we can redeem the human race by protecting our wildlife. The book’s two central characters are the photographer—who journeys from the American South, via the photographers’ co-operative Magnum, to becoming lead wildlife photographer of National Geographic magazine—and the author, who travels with the photographer on assignment in Africa, to gain intimate and deep insight into her subject. Harris’s story also draws on meetings with some of the world’s leading eco-scientists—including legendary primatologist, Jane Goodall.