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Sound of a Wild Snail Eating Paperback – September 6, 2016

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,112 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

WINNER OF THE WILLIAM SAROYAN INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR NONFICTION (2012)
 
WINNER OF THE JOHN BURROUGHS MEDAL (2011)

NATIONAL OUTDOOR BOOK AWARD FOR 2010 in Natural History Literature

BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE AWARD, FINALIST for Inspirational Memoir

TOP TEN ADULT SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY BOOKS FOR 2010, Booklist

BEST BOOKS OF 2010: MORE OF THE BEST, Library Journal

GREAT TITLES TO ADD TO THE NYT BEST OF 2010, Huffington Post

Praise:

“Beautiful.” —Edward O. Wilson

“Universal, deeply felt, and with an enormously generous soul, the gently told story grants readers a heightened appreciation for the ever-shrinking, ever-fascinating, secretive parts of our unkempt world.” —Alexandra Fuller for The Daily Beast

“How interesting can a snail be? Entirely captivating, as it turns out. [Bailey] is a marvelous writer, and the marriage of science and poetic mysticism that characterizes this small volume is magical.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[Bailey] found comfort in an unlikely companion--a tiny snail, whose micro-doings are the source of a surprising philosophy.” —Entertainment Weekly

“An exquisite meditation on the restorative connection between nature and humans. . . Bailey's slim book is as richly layered as the soil she lays down in the snail's terrarium: loamy, potent, and regenerative.” —The Huffington Post

“[A] small, quiet masterpiece, already destined to become a classic.” —Washington Times

“A spare, beautifully quirky grace note of a book.” —Family Circle

“Though illness may rob us of vitality, sometimes it can also help bring us understanding---albeit in improbable disguises . . . Perhaps there's something to be said for moving at a snail's pace.” —NPR.org

“This elegant little gem is a triumph.”—Maine Sunday Telegram

From the Inside Flap

THE EARTHLY ADVENTURES OF A WOMAN AND A GASTROPOD

Winner of the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing
Winner of the John Burroughs Medal
Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award in Natural History Literature

"Brilliant." --The New York Review of Books

"How interesting can a snail be? Entirely captivating, as it turns out. [Bailey] is a marvelous writer, and the marriage of science and poetic mysticism that characterizes this small volume is magical." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

"[A] gem." --Susan Stamberg, NPR's Morning Edition

"Survival, resilience, and intellectual curiosity . . . Deeply moving. . . Extraordinary." --Literature and Medicine, the journal of the Institute for the Medical Humanities

"An exquisite meditation on the restorative connection between nature and humans . . . As richly layered as the soil she lays down in the snail's terrarium: loamy, potent, and regenerative." --The Huffington Post

"[A] small, quiet masterpiece, already destined to become a classic." --The Washington Times


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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Algonquin Books; Reprint edition (September 6, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 208 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 161620642X
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1616206420
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 4.8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5 x 0.52 x 7 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 1,112 ratings

About the author

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Elisabeth Tova Bailey's natural history/memoir, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, received the 2012 William Saroyan International Prize for Nonfiction, a 2011 John Burroughs Medal Award for Distinguished Natural History, a 2010 National Outdoor Book Award in Natural History Literature and a Gold Award from Foreword Book of the Year for Memoir and was selected as a top ten Science & Technology title for 2010 by the American Library Association and one of the Best Books of 2010 by Library Journal and The Huffington Post. Editions/translations are available in the U.S., UK, and Australia/New Zealand, Germany, France, China, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, and (forthcoming) in Japan.

The Sound of a Wild Snail has found a special home in the medical humanities field with coverage in Academic Medicine, Hektoen International, The Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, The Bellevue Literary Review, The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, Advance for Nurses Book Club and numerous national patient publications. The book is also being used in secondary and higher educational settings.

Bailey's essay, "A Green World Deep in Winter: The Bedside Terrarium," on the invention of the terrarium by a 19th century London physician and its use in palliative care, is available on the free access online Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine. Bailey lives in Maine.

To watch a slide/talk with the author, hear audio interviews, see a brief film, read full reviews, or to send along your own snail story, please visit: www.elisabethtovabailey.net

Image credits: Portrait of the author by E. LaRoche, photo of terrarium by D. Smith

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
1,112 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on October 22, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on April 8, 2017
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Reviewed in the United States on May 22, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

FantasyFan
5.0 out of 5 stars Gently humorous view of a snail
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 13, 2020
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Lucyreviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Where to begin!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 7, 2020
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One person found this helpful
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tiggrie AKA Sarah
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone, but I enjoyed it.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 9, 2012
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6 people found this helpful
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J. M. Austin
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful short read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 8, 2012
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Breeze
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely delightful!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 2, 2012
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6 people found this helpful
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