Matthew LaPlante

Matthew LaPlante has reported on the front lines of the war in Iraq, ritual infanticide in Ethiopia, organ shortages in Germany, gang violence in El Salvador, life in the shadow of an infamous prison in Cuba, and the legacy of genocide in Cambodia. His work has been featured in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Daily News,, and Christianity Today, among other national and regional publications. He has been the co-writer on two books about scientific discovery: Inheritance (Grand Central Press, 2014), and the forthcoming The Longevity Plan (HarperCollins 2017). He is on the faculty of the Department of Journalism and Communication at Utah State University, where he teaches news writing and crisis reporting. Matthew is the recipient of the 2014 Kavli Award, one of the nation’s top honors for science journalism.


SUPERLATIVE: The Biggest, Fastest, Loudest, Deadliest Book You’ll Ever Read

Superlatives are, by definition, outliers, and the dynamics around medical research tend to conspire in favor of drawing financing and attention to the most common conditions that affect the most people most frequently. Since its inception, the Nobel committee has largely bestowed awards on research that focuses on the archetypical. In 2015, for example, the Nobel Prize for medicine went to the team that studied one of the most common parasites in the world. The chemistry prize that year was given for work on how DNA repairs itself within

the typical human genome. Mounting evidence indicates, however, that the further away we get from studying the median and instead build our knowledge about how certain genes function in superlative people and creatures, the closer we get to understanding our genetic potential. In short, renewed interest in superlative phenomena is driving amazing new insights into our world.

How can the world’s largest land animal help us cure cancer? What can the world’s loudest animal tell us about the ways in which we interact with each other? How could studying the world’s slowest evolving fish help in our quest to travel to Mars? These and many other equally intriguing topics will be explored in this singular book. Possessing the infectious accessibility of Outliers and the rich interweaving of research and story of Your Inner Fish and The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, LaPlante’s Superlative promises a captivating ride through the world of extremes that leads to a deeper look into what it means to be human.

Rights: BenBella Books, World