17 May 2011

Pip Pip and Wild: two of my favorite books

I was fortunate earlier this year to hear Jay Griffiths read some of her book about the anti-road protests (see photo left). It was at 'Soundbites' at the Great Oak Cafe in Llanidloes in March - a bit like Stroud's Coffee House Discussions except they have three artists - this time it was a couple of bands and Jay - loved it all and the food!

Well I read her book, 'Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time', a while back and loved it - it explores the political nature of time, and looks at all the different ways in which indigenous cultures perceive time. It is as the website says, 'a polemic against the play-less, life-denying ways in which modernity sees time.' The book cover has even been used in student protests last year - see here.

Well that was a favorite and I can't think why it took me so long to pick up her book, 'Wild: An Elemental Journey'. It is just as wonderful - if not more - it took seven years to research and write. And again as the website says: 'It is an evocation of the songlines of the earth, the result of long journeys among indigenous cultures, including staying with Amazonian shamans and Inuit people, visiting sea gypsies and staying with the freedom fighters of West Papua. It explores the words and meanings which shape ideas of wildness, arguing that wildness is intrinsic to the health of the human spirit.  It is about necessary nomadism and the truant heart.' But that doesn't give half of what the book is about....
'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.  This is a truly necessary book, and we are all lucky that the subject found a writer worthy of it.’ Philip Pullman
"A vital, unique and uncategorisable celebration of the spirit of life itself, Wild is a profound and extraordinary piece of work." The Observer, 20 May, 2007

"A major book by a major writer ... she writes like four kinds of gorgeous ... Wild is the book that shows how it should be done." Bill McKibben, The Ecologist, May, 2007
 See her in The Ecologist talking about Wild here. Order them through our local bookshop here. Thank you Jay for two wonderful reads!

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