Synopses & Reviews
, Jay Griffiths describes an extraordinary odyssey through wildernesses of earth, ice, water, and fire. A poetic consideration of the tender connection between human society and the wild, the book is by turns passionate, political, funny, and harrowing. It is also a journey into that greatest of uncharted lands the wilderness of the mind and Griffiths beautifully explores the language and symbolism that shape our experience of our own wildness.
Part travelogue, part manifesto for wildness as an essential character of life, Wild is a one-of-a-kind book from a one-of-a-kind author.
"In her second book (after A Sideways Look at Time) Griffiths narrates her seven-year exploration of the wildest places left on the globe the Amazon rain forest, the Arctic and New Guinea, among others. The book is divided into five sections representing the 'elements': earth, ice, water, fire and air. Her search for what remains wild is as much a linguistic and spiritual journey as it is a physical one, although she does take real risks, like drinking psychedelic ayahuasca infusions with shamans deep in the jungle. Griffiths's central thesis that by developing and destroying our last wildernesses we are impoverishing our lives is not an original one, but she brings fierce conviction and impressive scholarship to her work. Although Griffiths has great erudition and a real sensitivity to language, her ultraromantic perspective, in which civilization is always bad and nature always idyllic, lacks nuance. For someone so inspired by nature, Griffiths doesn't allow her observations to speak for themselves; instead, every event becomes another opportunity to condemn modern man. The lack of a narrative arc makes the book a collection of variations on a theme, and although Griffiths is a gifted writer, after 60 such essays, the mind starts to wander." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Griffiths' love for words and her skill in using them...make this a fascinating journey." Kirkus Reviews
"[Griffiths'] writing is beautiful, as lush and as dense with meaning as the places she visits." Oregonian
A poetic evaluation of the connection between human society and the natural world is a part-travelogue, symbolic tour of the earth's elements that explores "wildness" as an essential character of life. By the award-winning author of A Sideways Look at Time.
Griffiths describes an extraordinary journey through wildernesses of earth, ice, water, and fire a stunning exploration of all that is untamed and unnamed, including the unchartered wilderness of the mind.
About the Author
Jay Griffiths is the author of A Sideways Look at Time, winner of the 2003 Barnes & Noble Discover Award for nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in Utne, the London Review of Books, The Guardian, The Observer, The Ecologist, and Wild Earth.