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The Word for Woman is Wilderness
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Previous Reads: Non-Fiction > The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews

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message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1697 comments Mod
This is the discussion thread for our September open choice book club read: The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews. This is Andrews' debut novel.

The Word for Woman Is Wilderness by Abi Andrews

Synopsis of The Word for Woman is Wilderness

From Two Dollar Radio:

This is a new kind of nature writing — one that crosses fiction with science writing and puts gender politics at the center of the landscape.

Erin, a 19-year-old girl from middle England, is traveling to Alaska on a journey that takes her through Iceland, Greenland, and across Canada. She is making a documentary about how men are allowed to express this kind of individualism and personal freedom more than women are, based on masculinist ideas of survivalism and the shunning of society: the “Mountain Man.” She plans to culminate her journey with an experiment: living in a cabin in the Alaskan wilderness, a la Thoreau, to explore it from a feminist perspective.

The book is a fictional time capsule curated by Erin, comprising of personal narrative, fact, anecdote, images and maps, on subjects as diverse as The Golden Records, Voyager 1, the moon landings, the appropriation of Native land and culture, Rachel Carson, The Order of The Dolphin, The Doomsday Clock, Ted Kaczynski, Valentina Tereshkova, Jack London, Thoreau, Darwin, Nuclear war, The Letters of Last Resort and the pill, amongst many other topics.

At the TDR site, there is a link to an excerpt of the book displayed at LitHub, and - on the left hand side of the landing page -- there is a link you can click in order to receive an ARC.

Abi Andrews

Abi Andrews is a writer from the Midlands, England. She studied Creative Writing at Goldsmiths college in London, and her work has been published in Five Dials, Caught by the River, The Clearing, The Dark Mountain Project, Tender and other journals, along with a pamphlet published with Goldsmiths Shorts.

Here's a link to a Q&A with Ms. Andrews, posted at the TDR site.

and another interview:

and a podcast from January 2018 at The Clearing, a Little Toller Books site.

Kristin will lead our discussion.

Who's planning to join? let us know and share why, if you're of a mind to do so.

message 2: by Shankar (new)

Shankar (sshankar) | 2 comments I am in. This sounds exciting ...

message 3: by Carol (new)

Carol (carolfromnc) | 1697 comments Mod
@Kristin- I'm sorry to hear about your health issues and can't imagine how dealing with them would take over your life for a time. I'm glad they aren't life-threatening, but .... still... Take care of yourself.

message 4: by Anita (last edited Sep 23, 2019 09:51AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 772 comments Mod
I finally got my copy and just started. I also find her voice amusing, and the writing is easy to read.

I haven't read Into the Wild but I have seen the movie. I did enjoy it, and I can't help but agree with Erin about how different everything would be for a female. I'm enjoying this book a lot, it's a strange blend of genres, but it really makes Erin seem like a real person to me as opposed to a character from a book.

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 772 comments Mod
I'm really surprised at the depth of this novel. Though the mc has a funny, angsty attitude, I'm impressed at the range of feminist topics Abi Andrews manages to touch on throughout Erin's travels. Sometimes it seems very off topic - she likes to muse about space and exploration and her travels lead her to ponder seemingly random topics such as whales' sentience and SeaWorld, or the Unabomber... but it always comes back to where she is and who she's with at the moment.

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