Jay Griffiths
Poetics Essay

Wild Soul

Jay Griffiths is the author of WILD: An Elemental Journey (Tarcher, and Hamish Hamilton, 2007) and PIP PIP: A Sideways Look at Time (Tarcher and Flamingo 1999).  She was named by Barnes and Noble as the best new non-fiction writer in the USA in 2003.


About WILD: An Elemental Journey:

“A major book by a major writer”
- Bill McKibben in The Ecologist

“I used to think the wild did not have words, that it lay beyond the edge of logic and expression. With her journey and her struggle, Jay Griffiths proves me wrong. She wanders, she wonders, she suffers, she survives. Her words are intense, episodic, gripping, and sensual, somewhere between Edward Abbey and Jeanette Winterson -- who knew there was such a place? Wild is the first great nature writing of the 21st century.”
- David Rothenberg, author of Why Birds Sing and Wild Ideas.

“Passionate, rigorous and utterly honest, Griffiths’ remarkable book is written in a style as wild and exciting as its subject.”
- Robert Macfarlane, author of Mountains of the Mind.

“Insightful, effervescent and lavishly written … She shrouds her amazingly strenuous physical journey with a rich literary penumbra. The book has a profusion of historical allusions and a fertile bibliography; the vivid, excited writing draws haunting, lovely connections among multiple cultures, landscapes and ideas.”
- Ruth Padel, The Washington Post.

“Like Henry David Thoreau, Jay Griffiths wants to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life … an immersionist … [her] research is impressive … [her] writing dexterous and lush … a passionate plea for the preservation of wilderness.”
- New York Times

“Jay Griffiths has produced nothing short of an original opening of the human mind, a study of what makes us tick. Her book touches nature and language and us with an enlightening spirit, and it demonstrates that we have been in the thrall of a concept of our own invention, one that we have barely acknowledged, much less understood. Her book is cleverness in the service of genius.”
- Citation on winning the Barnes and Noble “Discover” award for the best new non-fiction writer in the USA, 2003