Gold Fish
“[An] engaging tale of obsession and perseverance… Voigt’s passion in pursuing her subject is infectious, as is the self-deprecating humor she injects into her enthralling look at the intersection of science, commercialism, and conservation.”

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review, pick of the week, and best book of the summer

“Not since Candace Millard published The River of Doubt has the world of the Amazon, Borneo, Myanmar and other exotic locations been so colorfully portrayed… A compelling must-read.”

LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review

“A masterpiece! Emily Voigt has raised the bar for anyone who thinks they can tell a good fish story. What an extraordinary and extraordinarily well-told tale. Voigt brings such wonderful humor, adventure, and hard science to this subject, I found myself unable to put the book down.”

—Bryan Christy, author of The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World’s Greatest Reptile Smugglers

“Few writers can match the intelligence, charm, wit, and sheer audacity that Emily Voigt brings to bear in this highly readable and important book… With a page-turning plot and a cast of vivid characters, The Dragon Behind the Glass shines a powerful light on the international trade in endangered species.”

—SCOTT WALLACE, author of The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes

“With the taut suspense of a spy novel, Voigt paints a vivid world of murder, black market deals and habitat destruction surrounding a fish that’s considered, ironically, to be a good-luck charm.”


“[An] immensely satisfying story full of surprises and suspense… Things get weird fast.”


“[A] spirited debut [and] a fresh, lively look at an obsessive desire to own a piece of the wild.”


“Enthralling… [A] story that reads more like fiction.”

—PUREWOW, “The Ultimate 2016 Summer Book Guide”

“Compelling and illuminating… [A] genuine “page-turner.””


“[R]eads like a cross between a travelogue, a true-crime yarn and a work of popular science… engrossing.”


“You may never before have devoted much thought to the colorful world of illegal luxury fish trading. But just wait until Voigt gets her hooks in you.”


A journalist’s quest to find a wild Asian arowana—the world’s most expensive aquarium fish—takes her on a global tour through the bizarre realm of ornamental fish hobbyists to some of the most remote jungles on the planet.

Emily Voigt is a journalist based in New York specializing in science and culture. Her stories have appeared in the New York Times, onEarth Magazine, Mother Jones, and Isotope: A Journal of Literary Nature and Science Writing, as well as on the programs Radiolab and This American Life. The recipient of a Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship, she holds degrees in English Literature and Journalism from Columbia University. The Dragon Behind the Glass, her first book, is published by Scribner.


  • May 25, 2016
    Authors@Google Series
    Talk, Q&A, and Signing at Google, New York
    Private event for Google Staff
    2:00 PM