The Cockroach Papers

The Cockroach Papers: A compendium of history and lore

(Four Walls Eight Windows; 1999)

"Ogni scarrafone è bello a mamma sua."
("Every cockroach is beautiful to its mother.")

Neopolitan folk saying

"Nature's evolutionary success story, the indestructible cockroach, gets the full treatment in Schweid's zesty survey of roach fact and fancy."

Kirkus Reviews

Consider the Eel

Consider The Eel: A natural and gastronomic history

(University of North Carolina Press; 2002)

"Schweid writes with clarity and enthusiasm, combining elementary biology with recipes from England, Europe, and America, historical notes on fishing and cooking, and present-day interviews with fishers and others."

Library Journal

Everything you always wanted to know about eels.... Will delight anyone with a taste for natural history."

New York Times Book Review

 "Schweid gives readers the skinny on 'one of our oldest and least understood gifts from the sea."

Seattle Times



 Hereafter: Searching for immortality

(Thunder's Mouth Press; 2006)

An investigation of what people believe happens when they die, which carries the author from Tennessee to Varanasi, interviewing boatmen who scatter ashes in the Ganges, rabbis, imams, priests, and aetheists, people who  have lived through near-death experiences, and a wide range of other people, places, and beliefs.


"Hereafter is a wonderful read: erudite, amusing, intimate, surprising and above all, very well-written throughout."

Chris Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of Sex at Dawn

Che's Chevrolet Fidel's Oldsmobile

Che's Chevrolet Fidel's Oldsmobile: On the road in Cuba

(Univesrity of North Carolina Press; 2004)



"Throughout this book we meet a vibrant cast of characters. their stories give a sense of what it is like to live in comtemporary Cuba. We also realize we are in the presence of an extraordinary writer. For a book grounded in the history of the transportation system in Cuba this is one of the most vivid books I know about the Cuban revolution, what was lost and gained, and about the complexities of the transformation of an economy and society."

Alex Harris, Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University







(Reaktion Books; 2008)

"Where Schweid excels in is his wonderfully illustrated historical account of the use that man has made of the eel, a story that extends from prehistory . . . to the gross abuse of the eel resource at the hand of global markets and intensive aquaculture. Eel is a book to be enjoyed and often reread, a social history of real substance which echoes the best of Victorian writing."

Times Literary Supplement

"This pretty little book tells you all you could wish to know about the natural history and the culinary history of this delicious, disappearing fish."

 Wall Street Journal


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