Sunday, April 11, 2010

Witchetty grub, sea gypsies

Jay Griffith from the UK writes about time and wilderness. “I write about the politics of culture,” said the author, sipping her coffee at a five-star hotel lobby.

For her last book Wild, An Elemental Journey, Griffith spent seven years travelling. “Actually, I was in the midst of a depression when an anthropologist invited me to travel to the Amazon,” said Griffith. So she went to the shamans in the Amazon “in search of their hallucinogenic medicine, the ayahuasca that cured me” and to the freedom fighters of West Papua “to sing my head off in their highlands”.

While travelling she met “cannibals infinitely kinder than the murderous missionaries who evangelise them”. She anchored her boat to an iceberg where polar bears slept, ate witchetty grub and visited sea gypsies.

Her first book Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time was the winner of Barnes and Nobel Discoverer Award for the best new non-fiction writer in the US in 2003.

Full report here Telegraph

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