Kingsnorth's desire to live authentically leads him to a small Irish farm, but when his words fail him, his identity as a writer is called into question. Savage Gods is a lyrical meditation on belonging and culture, creativity and language, and doesn’t shy away from asking big, troublesome questions. Can language approximate reality? Can we belong to a place? How should we live? Despite these lofty subjects, Savage Gods stays positively earthbound, not given to pronouncements or easy answers. Instead of navel-gazing, Kingsnorth wisely engages with the world, and Savage Gods is thought-provoking, relatable, and a pleasure to read. Recommended By Jason W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Chicago Tribune "Fall literary preview: books you need to read now"
Vulture "The Best and Biggest Books to Read This Fall"
After moving with his wife and two children to a smallholding in Ireland, Paul Kingsnorth expects to find contentment. It is the goal he has sought — to nest, to find home — after years of rootlessness as an environmental activist and author. Instead he finds that his tools as a writer are failing him, calling into question his foundational beliefs about language and setting him at odds with culture itself.
Informed by his experiences with indigenous peoples, the writings of D.H. Lawrence and Annie Dillard, and the day-to-day travails of farming his own land, Savage Gods asks: what does it mean to belong? What sacrifices must be made in order to truly inhabit a life? And can words ever paint the truth of the world — or are they part of the great lie which is killing it?
"Savage Gods is a beautiful, intelligent, extremely poetic book about a writer dissecting his thoughts and feelings on the page without the protective layer of fiction." NPR
"A poignant, honest portrait of a crisis of faith, not in God or Self but a far rarer thing, a crisis of belief in words themselves, the very materials of the writer's mind."
Jay Griffiths, author of Wild
"Horrible and brilliant and terribly important. This book is what I've been looking for for years, and what I'd hoped never to see."
Charles Foster, author of Being A Beast
About the Author
Paul Kingsnorth is the author of Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, Beast and The Wake, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He is cofounder of the Dark Mountain Project, a global network of writers, artists, and thinkers in search of new stories for a world on the brink.