8 Novels on Women in the Wild
I love urbane social comedies and absurd novels about office work and many kinds of fiction set mostly indoors and in town. But if I get snowed into a cabin with only one kind of reading at hand, I want a big stack of books that take wilderness and wildness seriously, outdoor novels a bit wild themselves. Novels set in strange forests as surprising and wondrous as real ones. Feral novels that make more of nature than a screen on which to project the emotional lives of human characters. I try to get that wildness into my own fiction, most recently with Scratch , my attempt at a feral, strange forest novel. And I try to find it as often as possible in my reading. The first time I read Wild Life it blew me away and it does so again each time I return.
Alexis M. Soon, it becomes disturbingly clear that Marrow Island may be having a sinister effect on the citizens living off the land. Smith explores the connection between the female psyche and the wilderness. When I write about natural disasters and the effects of global warming in my novels, I want to express something true about them, about the deadly seriousness of them. But I also know that by crafting a story out of them, they become signifiers, casting meaning all over my characters and plot.
A few books on my shelf, books that make me want to go outdoors. Mostly memoir, all non-fiction. Breaking out of the box, embracing solitude, and seeing more. So many things have been shown so to me on these banks, so much light has illumined me by reflection here where the water comes down, that I can hardly believe that this grace never flags, that the pouring from ever-renewable sources is endless, impartial, and free. Solitude its own reward! At night I fall into bed weary instead of tense.
Make Your Own List. Author and environmentalist Mark Boyle lived for three years without money; now he lives entirely off-grid and eschews all forms of modern technology, in search of a wilder way of living—and of being more in tune with the natural world.
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A Sand County Almanac
Founder of the innovative Travel Bookshop that formed the setting for the movie Notting Hill, Sarah Anderson has written several travel books. At the age of 10, Anderson's arm was amputated as a result of a rare but virulent strain of cancer. Published this month, Halfway to Venus dwells upon the author's experience as a single-armed independent traveller, reflecting on other famous amputees and their prosthetic limbs in life and literature. I've realised that there's rather a heavy bias towards American writers - but whatever their origins they're all superb. The contemporary writer whose writings about the wild I most admire.