‘Take a human being. Lean it gently on the earth and let it listen awhile. Ask it then what are the good words and true. And, like a fundamental law of metaphysics, the answers seem to come back the same all over the world. Nature. Story. Ethics. Respect. Balance. Creativity. Spirit. Insight. Gift. The art of being human.’ This is at the core of the work of Jay Griffiths.
She has travelled to the freedom fighters of West Papua, to shamans of the Amazon, to Inuit people in the Arctic where she anchored a boat to an iceberg where polar bears had slept. Her work has captivated writers including Gary Snyder, Marie Darrieussecq, Barry Lopez and Philip Pullman and John Berger who said of her: ‘If bravery itself could write, it would write like she does.’
She has written about the politics of time (Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time); about childhood and nature (Kith), and about Indigenous culture in the world’s wildernesses (Wild: An Elemental Journey). She won the Discover award for the best first-time author in the USA, the inaugural Orion award, and was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. She has written for Radiohead and the Royal Shakespeare Company and created a short film with Mark Rylance. She is a wild skater, whenever the Welsh lakes freeze.
‘Wild is a breathtaking book, in its range and in its shameless passion: it reads like an entirely new genre’ Don Paterson
‘An exercise indeed in Dharma, poetry and philosophy’ Gary Snyder on Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time
‘Almost shockingly beautiful, a profoundly felt, deeply thought, fiercely argued examination of childhood . . . It is written in prose that is hardly prose, a poetry in paragraphs’ Andrew Solomon, The New York Times review of Kith: The Riddle of the Childscape