Wild: An Elemental Journey
I took seven years over this work, spent all I had, my time, money and energy. Part of the journey was a green riot and part a deathly bleakness. I got ill, I got well. I went to the freedom fighters of West Papua and sang my head off in their highlands. I met cannibals infinitely kinder and more trustworthy than the murderous missionaries who evangelize them. I anchored a boat to an iceberg where polar bears slept; ate witchetty grubs and visited sea gypsies. I found a paradox of wildness in the glinting softness of its charisma, for what is savage is in the deepest sense gentle and what is wild is kind. In the end - a strangely sweet result - I came back to a wild home...
Shortlisted for Orwell Prize 2008
World Book Day: Spread the Word Book to Talk About 2009.
'Wild is like nothing else I've ever read: thrilling, troubling, frightening, exhilarating. Jay Griffiths' courage and energy are formidable, but so is her sheer intelligence and literary flair.' --Philip Pullman
'Reality is such that both language and imagination have to exaggerate in order to confront it truly. Living with such exaggeration you need a very good head for heights and a lot of bravery. In this book Jay Griffiths has both. If bravery itself could write (by definition it can't), it would write, I believe, like she does.' --John Berger
Jay Griffiths is the author of Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time, winner of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for the best new non-fiction writer in the USA (2003). Her writing has appeared in various publications including the London Review of Books, the Idler, the Ecologist, Resurgence, the Observer and the Guardian.