May 20, 2007
Of Wild, selection committee chairperson Scott Slovic wrote, “In this stunningly rich work of literary nonfiction, Jay Griffiths traces her efforts to rediscover in the mind, in culture, and in the natural world the generative possibilities of the wild. The structure of Wild is brisk and innovative, the language often baroque and playful to the point of startling excess — in form as well as content, this is a celebration, exploration, and demonstration of wildness, broadly conceived. Brilliant, irrepressible, randy, and learned, this risk-taking book guides readers on a wild ride of the imagination. The world feels different — richer and stranger — after one reads these words.”
Honorable mentions were awarded to four other books: The Lives of Rocks: Stories, by Rick Bass (Houghton Mifflin); Inferno, by Charles Bowden, photographs by Michael P. Berman (University of Texas Press); Returning to Earth, by Jim Harrison (Grove Press); and The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan (The Penguin Press).
The choice of the five finalists and the winning book was made by a selection committee that included Slovic (founding president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment); Alison Hawthorne Deming ( Science and Other Poems); David G. Campbell (The Crystal Desert); Pam Houston (Sighthound ); and H. Emerson Blake (editor-in-chief of Orion).
Major support for the Orion Book Award was provided by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. The Henry Luce Foundation, Seventh Generation, and The Orion Society contributed additional underwriting support. Jay Griffiths received a prize of $3,000, presented to her at an award ceremony held May 3 at Reeves Contemporary in New York. Honorable mention authors received $500 each.
The Orion Book Award will be presented annually to a book that deepens our connection to the natural world, presents new ideas about our relationship with nature, and achieves excellence in writing. There is no application process for the Orion Book Award. Nominations are made by Orion‘s advisors, writers, and editors.
For more media and publicity information about the Orion Book Award, contact Jennifer Sahn at (413) 528-4422, ext. 12.