The Way Through the Woods: On Mushrooms and Mourning


Product Details

$26.00  $24.18
Random House
Publish Date
5.2 X 8.2 X 1.1 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Long Litt Woon is a Malaysian-born Norwegian social anthropologist and certified mushroom expert. She lives in Oslo, Norway. Her surname is Long in accordance to Chinese naming tradition. She is known as Woon to friends.


"Moving and unexpectedly funny . . . Long tells the story of finding hope after despair lightly and artfully, with self-effacement and so much gentle good nature that we forgot how sad she (and we) are. . . . Seeing Long's capacity for wonder and even contentment in the midst of her sadness feels like seeing tiny shoots of grass peeking from the ash in a landscape stripped bare by fire. Her memoir . . . intersperses the story of her mushroom education with details of her emotional journey, each informing the other. She is a fine anthropologist of both. . . . At its center, this book poses a familiar, awful existential question. How do you go on living when the person you loved so much--perhaps the person you loved best in the world--is gone? Everyone must find her own answer. Long's is as good as any."--The New York Times

"Like mushrooms themselves, The Way Through the Woods is surprising, comforting, and completely engrossing. Woon takes us foraging not just through the fascinating world of fungi but also through her personal grief. Like Sound of a Wild Snail Eating and H is for Hawk, her gorgeous, intimate encounter with unfamiliar species teaches us that observing nature carefully is both inspiring and healing."--Juli Berwald, author of Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone

"The Way Through the Woods is a personal view of the world of mushrooming though the eyes of an anthropologist who took up mushrooming to move forward through grief after the sudden death of her husband. It was great to see how Norway mushrooming culture was similar and different from that of the United States culture, while cheering for the author as she struggled to accept and embrace her new life. Anyone interested in these subjects will enjoy this book as much as I did."--"Wildman" Steve Brill, America's Go-to Guy for Foraging