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Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of EdenThere is a review in the current “Sunday Book Review” in The New York Times of Brook Wilensky-­Lanford’s first book, Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden (Grove Press, 2011).

With so many modern scientific advances, the discovery of fossil evidence from early ages and, of course, the advance of Darwin’s theory of evolution, surely no one would be so mad as to look for an actual Eden. Brook Wilensky-­Lanford’s first book, “Paradise Lust,” suggests just the opposite. It seems there have always been — and continue to be — little armies of Eden chasers who take this quest very seriously, carrying their search to the most unlikely places. Wilensky-Lanford carries the reader along on some of these journeys, from the North Pole to rural Ohio, evoking the lives and characters of a collection of eccentrics that includes a professional archaeologist and a preacher, as well as a Chinese businessman and a British irrigation engineer.

– Andrea Wulf, “Which Way to the Garden of Eden?”, The New York Times, 5 August 2011

And some of these searchers for the lost Garden of Eden believed that Adam was a Giant:

William Fairfield Warren, the first president of Boston University, published a book in the late 19th century in which he argued that Eden was located at the North Pole — or, at least, that it had been there before the Flood…. Eden, he added, was populated with people “of giant stature” and its landscape dotted with enormous trees closely related to the California redwoods.

– Andrea Wulf, “Which Way to the Garden of Eden?”, The New York Times, 5 August 2011

Many Jewish and Christian commentators considered that Adam and the antediluvians, not to mention even later figures of Jewish legend such as Moses, possessed giant stature. For example, the medieval Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Num. 21.35-36 notes that, when Moses attacked the Giant King Og of Bashan, not only was Og a Giant, but Moses himself was 10 cubits tall (4.5 metres or 14-and-3/4 feet tall).

Nb. Brook Wilensky-­Lanford’s Paradise Lust: Searching for the Garden of Eden should not be confused with Paradise Lust: An Erotic Travelogue (Virgin Books, 2007),  by Kit McCann (author of Thai Honey, Nexus, 2006): “The moment a Thai lady smiles at you, you know there is a heaven and that it is here in Thailand”.