The Wild Life : A Year of Living on Wild Food
"The Wild Life" is John Lewis-Stempel's account of twelve months eating only food shot, caught or foraged from the fields, hedges, and brooks of his forty-acre farm. Nothing from a shop and nothing raised from agriculture. Could it even be done? We witness the season-by-season drama as the author survives on Nature's larder, trains Edith, a reluctant gundog, and conjures new recipes. And, above all, we see him get closer to Nature. Because, after all, you're never closer to Nature than when you're trying to kill it or pick it. Lyrical, observant and mordantly funny, "The Wild Life" is an extraordinary celebration of our natural heritage, and a testament to the importance of getting back to one's roots - spiritually and practically.
- Paperback | 304 pages
- 128 x 198 x 20mm | 210g
- 18 Mar 2010
- Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Black Swan
- London, United Kingdom
- Illustrations, map
About John Lewis-Stempel
In 1996 John Lewis-Stempel convinced his London-born wife to up sticks from the city and move to Herefordshire where his family have lived for five centuries. As well as hunting for wild food, he farms cattle and sheep. He is also the author of a number of books, including the recent The Autobiography of the British Soldier, reviewed by the Daily Express as 'What a book. Five stars'. He has two children.
"This is a great book: tough and funny, metaphysical and earthy, passionate and honest. Most of all, honest: not just in the sense of 'candid', but honest also in that it reveals the sheer bloody awkwardness, and the sheer awkward bloodiness, of trying to live even semi-wild these days. What might seem like a gimmick turns out to be a way of discovering a great deal about that complicated thing we call 'land'. There's also some beautiful writing about place" -- Robert Macfarlane, author of the international bestseller, The Wild Places "Beautifully written. The closest thing you can get to poetry in prose" -- Paul Blezzard Hay on Wye Literary Festival "A fascinating account of each month as [John Lewis Stempel] tracks, kills and gathers what he needs to stay alive... But this is more than just a rundown of all the perfectly edible stuff out there that we tend to overlook in our everyday, supermarket-dominated lives. The Wild Life is also a meditation on survival and our connection to the land... A timely and compelling book" -- Jason Webster Sunday Telegraph "Tough, honest, funny, poetic and informative, this is an initiatory and spiritual journey. A life lesson for us all" Ecologist "A large slice of nostalgia served up in an amusing and informative narrative" Manchester Evening News
"Tough, honest, funny, poetic and informative, this is an initiatory and spiritual journey. A life lesson for us all"
Back cover copy
For a full year John Lewis-Stempel lived solely on food he had hunted, shot, caught or foraged from the fields and copses of his small seventeenth-century Herefordshire farm. The experience brought him closer to Nature, closer to his history and family and most importantly it brought him to a better understanding of himself.