An original and probing debut work of non-fiction by a brilliant new writer, rooted in her years-long quest to study the cultural legacy of the wolf
A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF 2023 FOR FINANCIAL TIMES, TIME, VULTURE, LIT HUB, GOODREADS, RUMPUS, BUSTLE, READER’S DIGEST and more
Both vilified and venerated, wolves abound through cultural folklore and literature. In this hauntingly lyrical and unflinching inquiry, Erica Berry untangles these depictions – alongside her own research of the wolf and experience as a woman – to try to understand how we navigate terror, vulnerability and violence in our fragile, often dangerous world.
Luminously wise and unusually brave, Wolfish will stay with you long into the night.
“Berry draws on a huge, rich depository of lupine literature. Wolfish is more than just an interesting exercise in cultural anthropology, though. The book’s most obvious ancestor is Helen Macdonald’s megahit of 2014, H Is for Hawk; it has that same intellectual range and a prose style that pushes […] towards the poetic”
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“A singular book. Reading this will invite you to examine your own walk through the world — hungry, afraid, brave”
“Startling in its scope, covering everything from fairy tales to domestic violence. This book should be required reading”
“Ranging far and wide culturally in the company of wolves … Berry segues effortlessly from the reintroduction of wolves at Yellowstone national park to Pliny the Elder’s belief that wolves held pharmacological benefits for women’s bodies”
“Singular … a book entirely its own”
Erica Berry is a writer based in her hometown of Portland, Oregon. She has an MFA from the University of Minnesota, where she was a College of Liberal Arts Fellow. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, New York Times, Yale Review, Orion, Atlantic, Outside Magazine and elsewhere. Winner of the Steinberg Essay Prize and the Kurt Brown Prize in non-fiction, she is an Oregon Book Award Finalist for creative non-fiction and has received fellowships and funding from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the Wurlitzer Foundation, the Ucross Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources. She is currently an Associate Fellow at the Attic Institute for Arts and Letters and a writing instructor with Literary Arts in Portland.
@ericajberry | ericaberry.com