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Perfecting Paradise: For a number of years now, folks from the Channel Islands National Park – Anacapa Island with Santa Cruz Island beyond (pictured) – have been going to great lengths to restore the island chain back to its native state. This process has, on several occasions, required the systematic killing of invaders like rats and pigs and the removal of other species like the Golden eagle. The concept of killing critters to save others has had its fair share of critics, and the resulting drama and related philosophic questions provide the jumping-off point for T.C. Boyle’s new novel, When the Killing’s Done.

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