The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating


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Winner of The Saroyan International Prize for Writing, the John Burroughs Medal, and the National Outdoor Book Award in Natural History Literature

"Brilliant." --The New York Review of Books
"Exquisite." --The Huffington Post
"Magical." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Tova Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her encounter with a Neohelix albolabris--a common woodland snail.

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater understanding of her own place in the world.

Intrigued by the snail's molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, offering a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal.

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world can illuminate our own human existence, while providing an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.

Author: Elisabeth Tova Bailey
Binding Type: Paperback
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Published: 09/06/2016
Pages: 208
Weight: 0.3lbs
Size: 6.90h x 5.00w x 0.70d
ISBN: 9781616206420


Review Citation(s):
Shelf Awareness 09/02/2016

About the Author
Bailey, Elisabeth Tova: - Elisabeth Tova Bailey's essays and short stories have been published in the Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, the Missouri Review, Northwest Review, and the Sycamore Review. The hardcover edition of The Sound of Wild Snail Eating was a Barnes & Noble Discover title, an Indie Next Pick, and a Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Bailey has received several Pushcart Prize nominations (in addition to the awards listed above), and the essay on which this book is based received a Notable Essay Listing in Best American Essays. She is on the Writers Council for the National Writing Project. Winner of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, she lives in Maine.

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