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The Golden-Bristled Boar: Last Ferocious Beast of the Forest Hardcover – March 30, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Mr. Greene's descriptions have the clarity one would expect from a poet, whether sketching the striped young boars, called marcassins, playing rough and tumble while looked over by the older sows, or recounting an old boar's happy mud bath.... A fascinating portrait of rural France and its cherished rites emerges as Mr. Greene negotiates the intricacies of la France profonde.... Eclectic to the end.

(Wall Street Journal )

A truly fascinating, lucidly written, informative, entertaining, and valuable contribution to the growing canon of pig literature, or even of literature in general.

(William Hedgepeth, author of The Hog Book )

The Golden-Bristled Boar is an elegant book that looks at the landscape and ecology of what would seem to be or most inelegant natural neighbor -- the star of dark paintings and angry fables, as well as, by family connection, the food of colonial America. Jeffrey Greene leads you deep in the forests of Burgundy -- befriending hunters and biologists, and, along the way, bedazzling with stories of wild boar invasions throughout the swine-filled world. When you come out the other side, you are changed, not just in how your think about boars as a creature, but in how you think of them as the centerpiece of an ancient and wonderful country feast.

(Robert Sullivan, author of Rats: Observations on the History and Habitat of the City's Most Unwanted Inhabitants )

In investigating an animal that can strongly alter its environment through sheer numbers and constant rooting, and that is firmly entrenched in human folklore (Norse goddess Freya rode a wild boar), Greene patrols the woods in search of boar compagnie (groups of females and young), visits museums in search of boar specimens and boar art, and studies the hunt and its aftermath, the feast. Complete with delectable-sounding recipes, this elegant portrait enchants.

(Booklist )

Deep maps lay bare the soul of a place by revealing the stratifications of its natural and cultural history, charting the lives, natural cycles, and stories intersecting there. In a way, The Golden-Bristled Boar, along with Greene’s entire oeuvre, is an act intent on deep mapping his adopted home.

(Rain Taxi Review of Books)

The gift of a wild boar carcass from a friendly provincial neighbor prompted a journey into discovering the secretive lives of the wild boars in the region. Part memoir, part historical examination, this book weaves a story that includes boars around the world and ways this species has influenced human cultures over time. 


He [Greene] introduces us to a fascinating cast of experts, from museum curators to scientist to hunters and chefs (who share recipes) to residents of chateaux who have lived in the same ancient countryside with generations of boars.

(Northeastern Naturalist)

About the Author

Jeffrey Greene is the author of French Spirits: A House, a Village, and a Love Affair with Burgundy and Water from Stone: The Story of Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve. A widely published poet, he is the recipient of the Samuel French Morse Poetry Prize and the Randall Jarrell Award in Poetry. He teaches at the American University of Paris.

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More About the Author

Jeffrey Greene is the author of four collections of poems and a book of poems, dialogues, and prose sketches. His memoir French Spirits (HarperCollins/Transworld) has appeared in eight countries, and he has written two personalized nature books. A third nature book on wild edibles is forthcoming. His work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and Humanities Texas, and he received the Randall Jarrell Award, the "Discovery"/ The Nation Award, and Samuel French Morse Prize. His writing has appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, Ploughshares, American Scholar, and many other periodicals. He is currently a professor at the American University of Paris and teaches for the Pan-European Low Residency MFA Program.

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The Golden-Bristled Boar: Last Ferocious Beast of the Forest
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