The Orchid Thief
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Orchid Thief is based on Orlean's investigation of the 1994 arrest of John Laroche and a group of Seminoles in south Florida for poaching rare orchids in the Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve. The book is based on an article that Orlean wrote for The New Yorker, published in the magazine's January 23, 1995, issue. Plant dealer Laroche was determined to find and clone the rare ghost orchid for profit. Along the way, Orlean becomes fascinated with ghost orchids and meets many orchid enthusiasts. In their and Laroche's struggles and oddities, she gets a glimpse of true passion for the first time in her life.