Wolfish – Erica Berry

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Description

An original and probing debut work of nonfiction by a brilliant new writer, rooted in her years-long quest to study the cultural legacy of the wolf

In this enthralling, kaleidoscopic exploration of wolves both real and symbolic, Erica Berry weaves historic and scientific findings alongside criticism, journalism, and memoir to illuminate the strands of our cultural constructions of predator and prey, and what it means to navigate a world in which we can be both.

From 17th-century Europeans referring to mysterious bodily sores as wolves, to contemporary xenophobia about wolves crossing national borders, wolves have long been made to carry our most entrenched sociopolitical, environmental, and bodily fears. Intimate and thought-provoking, Wolfish is a lyrical inquiry into the relationship between humans and wolves, anchored in the dual stories of one legendary tagged wolf, OR-7, and the author.

Charting OR-7’s long-distance solo journey after he leaves his pack in northeastern Oregon beside the author’s own roaming trajectory away from her Oregon home, Wolfish wrestles with inherited narratives around fear, danger, and the body. From her grandfather’s sheep farm to a wolf sanctuary on an aristocratic English estate, Erica Berry untangles binaries of predator and prey, self and other, and wild and domestic, finding new expressions for how to be a brave woman, human, and animal in our warming world.

Perfect for readers of cultural criticism, environmental writing, Rebecca Solnit, H is for Hawk, or anybody trying to navigate a world that is often scary. A timely and necessary book for current and future generations.

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