An encounter with wildness, transmuted even as it occurs into an opportunity for self-expression. Strayed’s memoir, a New York Times bestseller translated into 28 languages, has been hailed as “a literary and human triumph” (The New York Times Book Review) that single-handedly revives the increasingly moribund genre of American nature writing. In fact, Wild is something altogether different. It’s not a “wilderness story” (again, Times Book Review) at all. It’s an Eat, Pray, Love-style autobiographical quest that only happens to be set in the outdoors. Far from reviving nature writing, Wild’s runaway success marks a further step toward extinction for the genre.
Side-eye to this book and all the ones like it. There is something so annoying—and vapid—about the way these sorts of “look at me, I found some transcendence!” memoirs are conceived. So you went hiking without any experience. That’s responsible. So you had time to go hiking in some remote area. Glad you’re so privileged and wrote a book about it. I had no idea one could pre-plan a transcendental experience. Come on now.
I recommend this, in its stead:
By William Least Heat-Moon