Why Peacocks?

An Unlikely Search for Meaning

in the World's Most Magnificent Bird

2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence long list selection

"Often witty, sometimes glorious....a fine starting point to finding meaning in a world both cruel and beautiful."

—Sy Montgomery, The New York Times Sunday Book Review

"A sparkling confessional from a man who tries to protect the innocent and beautiful from a world that he knows all too well can be relentlessly awful."

—The Wall Street Journal

"One part love story and one part rescue tale and somehow not really about peacocks at all."


"One of the best summer reads of 2021....full of colorful and quirky details, beautiful writing, and unexpected twists that will have you viewing these magical birds in a new light."

The Daily Beast

"A story woven with beauty obsession and loss...funny, poignant, very well written, and a pleasure to read."

—Jonathan C. Slaght, author of Owls of the Eastern Ice:

A Quest to Find and Save to World's Largest Owl

"Pure pleasure from beginning to end, the kind of book that reminds me why we write, and why we read."

—Haven Kimmel, best-selling author of A Girl Named Zippy:

Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana

"A truly wise and tender sparkler of a book. Weaving memoir, history, reportage, and mythology, Sean Flynn tells not just a quirky story about iridescent birds but a more profound one about family and parenthood, the innocence of childhood and our own mortality. I read it in one gulp, moved and humored and carried away by Flynn's heart and artistry as a master storyteller."

—Michael Paterniti, author of the New York Times bestseller The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese

"A wonderful book...that evolves into an investigation of one of evolutions biggest mysteries: Why does beauty exist?"

—Patrik Svensson, author of the international bestseller The Book of Eels: Our Enduring Fascination with the Most Mysterious Creature in the Natural World

"A life-affirming meditation on the nature of beauty and mortality. I can't think of any book the world needs more right now."

—Bronwen Dickey, author of Pit Bull: The Battle Over an American Icon

"Wonderfully engaging...perfect for fans of H is for Hawk and We Bought a Zoo."

—Porchlight Books