A walk on New York City’s truly wild side — and a glimpse of the landscape of the future.

Deer in Manhattan, coyotes in the Bronx, wild turkeys flying down Broadway: among the traffic and tall buildings of America’s most urban terrain, another city — suppressed and segregated during daylight, exceedingly lively from twilight to dawn — has begun to stake a new claim. WILD NIGHTS takes a startling tour of this other New York, revealing how stubbornly nature reasserts itself in even the most violently resculpted terrain.

In the first urban period in human history, confrontation and competition with the natural world is becoming an everyday occurrence. Some encounters charm us; some we dread; some we badly misunderstand. Anne Matthews explores the implications of this unexpected and powerful resurgence of nature for the fate of a world of megacities and suburban hypersprawl. Animated by her keen wit and eye, and anatomized by the often warring theories of scientists, historians, and environmentalists, New York emerges as a case study in civilization on the brink of ecological overreach.


Anne Matthews is the author of two previous books, WHERE THE BUFFALO ROAM and BRIGHT COLLEGE YEARS. She is a contributing editor for Preservation Magazine, and her articles have appeared in The New York Times and other publications. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey.