I was born in Akron and grew up Norton, Ohio. Some of my happiest memories from childhood are of climbing the trees in my father’s orchard to visit the nests of American Robins and House Sparrows to watch the inhabitants progress from shiny eggs, to naked newborns, to feathered fledglings.

           Like Genevieve Jones, I found the natural world a comforting refuge as I struggled to figure out where I belonged. I think Genevieve and I would have been kindred spirits if we had been neighbors living in Ohio in the same century.

           I have always been deeply aware of, and grateful for, the many opportunities I have had for second chances. Genevieve Jones didn't seem to have had any. She was denied the opportunity to go to college to fully realize her talents or to marry and become a wife and mother, and she died just as she was beginning to realize her life’s purpose.

           It is my hope that by sharing Genevieve’s story I can somehow rescue her life, her work, her dream, and her book the absolutely original and unique object of her family’s labor of love from obscurity.

                                          Joy M. Kiser




















Joy M. Kiser



Genevieve Estelle Jones,

Cleveland Museum of Natural History


          America’s Other Audubon

Joy M. Kiser




“Not since J. A. Baker’s The Peregrine has there been such a moving book about birds. The story of the gifted-but-doomed amateur, the passion of the undertaking shakes us. The beauty of the plates and their accessibility, until now denied all except a few who owned the rare original book, make this a rich gift to all who find interest in the natural world.”

—Annie Proulx, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Shipping News