When Graywolf sent us advance reader copies of The Wilding, Benjamin Percy's debut novel, they had our attention. We were excited to read a local author's work (Percy grew up in Bend, Oregon) set very close to home. Some of us had read and loved Percy's prize-winning story collection, Refresh, Refresh, and once we started The Wilding, we were all hooked.
Kim read the book in record time, pulled in by the suspenseful and gripping story, although she doesn't suggest reading the book after dark, unless the windows and doors are locked. And you're armed with a club or baseball bat. And, as far as camping is concerned... Well, it may take a while to get her back in the woods.
Antonya Nelson, award-winning author of Bound, raves:
The Wilding is a tour de force meditation and treatise on the nature of violence, the violence of nature, man in the wild, and the wild in man — cleverly disguised as a page-turning adventure. Not just a "must" read, but a need read, this book is timely, terrifying, terrific.
Jill had a chance to talk with Percy about his work (point of interest: he has the deepest voice, hands-down, that we've ever heard). Jill's in-depth interview is featured on the Powell's Books blog. Percy shares his views on the novel-writing process and the intersections between civilization and wilderness — and, yes, also, some scary bear stories.
We couldn't think of a better companion for The Wilding than one of our most treasured souvenirs, a Powell's Books Klean Kanteen. It's not just any liquid receptacle; this is a top-of-the-line model with double-walled vacuum insulation that keeps things hot for 6 hours or cold for 24. It's perfect for those ordinary days when you're bringing your lunch to work, or on the more adventurous days when you're in the woods... and your car won't start... and... (We'd better stop there, or we'll need a spoiler alert! And a baseball bat!)
We hope you enjoy The Wilding and the special gift. Don't hesitate to leave us a comment if this installment seriously impacts your ability to sleep soundly in tents or causes you to invest in high-powered pepper spray and flare guns. We won't be surprised.
The Indiespensable Team
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A collective of high muckamucks, the Panjandrums largely spend their time in competitive Bananagram duels and negotiations regarding Pie Friday — not to mention painstakingly designing each installment of Powell's subscription club, Indiespensable, with the help of independent publishers and local merchants. From time to time, they find it entertaining to give you a look at the hows and whys behind the what. But, if you're yearning for more, send questions, suggestions, and random anecdotes to firstname.lastname@example.org. (They especially like stories about pets, babies, and pie fillings.)
Books mentioned in this post