Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
Winner of The PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award * Nautilus Book Awards Gold Winner * Shortlisted for the John Burroughs Medal * Finalist for the Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize * Shortlisted for a Reading the West Book Award
A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year * 2021 Summer Reading Pick by BUZZFEED * NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW * KIRKUS * TIME MAGAZINE * GOOD MORNING AMERICA * PEOPLE MAGAZINE * THE WASHINGTON POST
"The book everyone will be talking about ... full of tenderness and understanding. --The New York Times
An "extraordinary" (Oprah Daily) memoir about the friendship between a solitary woman and a wild fox.
When Catherine Raven finished her PhD in biology, she built herself a tiny cottage on an isolated plot of land in Montana. She was as emotionally isolated as she was physically, but she viewed the house as a way station, a temporary rest stop where she could gather her nerves and fill out applications for what she hoped would be a real job that would help her fit into society. In the meantime, she taught remotely and led field classes in nearby Yellowstone National Park.
Then one day she realized that a mangy-looking fox was showing up on her property every afternoon at 4:15 p.m. She had never had a regular visitor before. How do you even talk to a fox? She brought out her camping chair, sat as close to him as she dared, and began reading to him from The Little Prince. Her scientific training had taught her not to anthropomorphize animals, yet as she grew to know him, his personality revealed itself and they became friends.
From the fox, Catherine learned the single most important thing about loneliness: we are never alone when we are connected to the natural world. Friends, however, cannot save each other from the uncontained forces of nature.
Fox and I is a poignant and remarkable tale of friendship, growth, and coping with inevitable loss--and of how that loss can be transformed into meaning. It is both a timely tale of solitude and belonging as well as a timeless story of one woman whose immersion in the natural world will change the way we view our surroundings--each tree, weed, flower, stone, or fox.
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About the Author
--Temple Grandin, author of Animals in Translation "The observations of high-desert nature--of wildlife, plants, landscapes, weather--in this book are some of the best you will ever read. The story of Catherine Raven and the fox's friendship charmed me and drew me in completely."
--Ian Frazier, author of Great Plains "If Thoreau had read The Little Prince, he would have written Fox and I."
--Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi "Intimate and poetic .... By paying ecstatic attention to grasses, insects, birds, and animals, Catherine Raven allows us to hear what nature is saying to us. Fox and I is essential reading for anyone concerned about the catastrophe human beings are inflicting on the environment from which they and all other creatures sprang."
--Stephen Batchelor, author of The Art of Solitude "This tale of wilderness, in the tradition of Thoreau and Steinbeck, is distinguished by a narrator who sees herself as one of the many creatures she lives among .... Catherine Raven has achieved something unique in the literature of nature-writing: genuine love for the wild within the rigor of scientific observation. The voice of this story-teller is startlingly original. I read it breathlessly."
-- Andrei Codrescu "Fox and I is a mesmerizing, beautifully written, and entirely unsentimental book about the connection among all things: the author and her fox friend, but also magpies, brown dogs, fawns, voles, and junipers. I learned as much about the meaning of friendship from this book as I have from any work of nonfiction that I've ever read."
--Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club