A stark and lyrical account of the psyche in crisis from the author of Kith
Tristimania tells the story of a devastating year-long episode of manic depression, culminating in a long solo pilgrimage across Spain. Recording the experience of mania as has rarely been done before, Jay Griffiths shows how the condition is at once terrifying and also profoundly creative, both tricking and treating the psyche. An intimate and raw journey, Tristimania illuminates something of the universal human spirit.
Kith is Jay Griffiths's passionate polemic in defence of childhood.
In Kith, Jay Griffiths seeks to discover why we deny our children the freedoms of space, time and the natural world. Visiting communities as far apart as West Papua and the Arctic, as well as the UK, and delving into history, philosophy, language and literature, she explores how children's affinity for nature is an essential and universal element of childhood. It is a journey deep into the heart of what it means to be a child, and it is central to all our experiences, young and old.
'Kith could have been written by no-one but Jay Griffiths. It is ablaze with her love of the physical world and her passionate moral sense that goodness and a true relation with nature are intimately connected. She has the same visionary understanding of childhood that we find in Blake and Wordsworth, and John Clare would have read her with delight. Her work isn't just good -- it's necessary' Philip Pullman
'Jay Griffiths writes with such richness and mischief about the one thing that could truly save the world: its children' KT Tunstall
'An impassioned, visionary plea to restore to our children the spirit of adventure, freedom and closeness to nature that is their birthright. We must hear it and act on it before it is too late' Iain McGilchrist
Jay Griffiths is the author of Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time; Wild: An Elemental Journey; and A Love Letter from a Stray Moon, a novella about the life of Frida Kahlo. She is the winner of the inaugural Orion Book Award and of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for the best new non-fiction writer to be published in the USA. She has also been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the World Book Day award.
I am Frida but also I am not Frida. I am her paintings and the nature of her love. I am her shadow. I am many women, I answer to many names, any who knows grief. I am all the phases of the moon, I am all her qualities. I am El Duende, I am the light of the psyche, writing from my soul, speaking to the psyche of humanity, the psyche which is shaped like the wings of a butterfly or a moth; fly closer, fly nearer to me.
A Love Letter from a Stray Moon is a fictionalised portrait of the intense and prolific life of Frida Kahlo. In beautifully lyrical language, Jay Griffiths explores the artist's childhood polio, her devastating accident and her turbulent relationship with Diego Rivera, painting a vivid and unique picture of passion, grief and transcendence.
Set against the backdrop of revolutionary Mexico, A Love Letter from a Stray Moon is partly a poetic depiction of a woman in flight from the hollowness of childlessness, the burning of betrayal and the constraints of physical pain. It is also a celebration of rebellion - from Frida's own politics to the present-day Zapatistas - and a hymn to the revolutionary fire at the heart of art.
'A wonderful book. It's like a dress that Kahlo invented for herself and wore' John Berger
'A rich and extraordinary vision. Jay Griffiths is a fearless adventurer with words and images. I salute her courage and the splendour of this vision' Philip Pullman
'An extraordinarily beautiful and sustained prose poem, a call for engagement with the world, and a powerful and astonishing feat of literary and retroactive telepathy. It is a book about possession, in many forms, each of which is sparked by a particular urgency: to comprehend, to celebrate and to endure' Niall Griffiths
'Frida Kahlo's life and work were indivisible, and with a power worthy of her subject Jay Griffiths has found a way of writing Kahlo's broken, prolific life. Through Griffiths we hear the voice of Frida Kahlo herself, as if she were speaking directly to us. I devoured this wonderfully perceptive and sensitive book' Marie Darrieussecq
'A stunning allegory about love, art and revolution. She makes every word, every scene, in this passionate narrative count. It's brilliant work' Barry Lopez
'Vivid as a bloom in the jungle, visionary as a flight over a desert, a love song to life on earth' Joan London
'A love letter to human originality' Melanie Challenger
'I found in Griffiths's writing a crafted freedom that feels made from the mist of dreams and a very real emerging dawn. Imagine being held in the open hand of moonlight and carried through a dream into day. This is what it is like to read A Love Letter from a Stray Moon. It is a book for men to read on women and for women to read on men. I am transported and transformed; I feel lucky to have read it and it leaves me in awe' Lemn Sissay
Jay Griffiths is the author of Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time and Wild: An Elemental Journey. She is the winner of the inaugural Orion Book Award and of the Barnes & Noble DiscoverAward for the best new non-fiction writer to be published in the USA. She has also been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and a World Book Day award.
'I took seven years over this work, spent all I had, my time, money and energy. Part of the journey was a green riot and part a deathly bleakness. I got ill, I got well. I went to the freedom fighters of West Papua and sang my head off in their highlands. I met cannibals infinitely kinder and more trustworthy than the murderous missionaries who evangelize them. I anchored a boat to an iceberg where polar bears slept; ate witchetty grubs and visited sea gypsies. I found a paradox of wildness in the glinting softness of its charisma, for what is savage is in the deepest sense gentle and what is wild is kind. In the end - a strangely sweet result - I came back to a wild home'
Wild describes an extraordinary odyssey, courageous and sometimes dangerous, to wildernesses of earth and ice, water and fire. It is by turns funny, touching and harrowing, and offers a poetic consideration of the tender connection between human society and wild lands. Wild won the inaugural Orion Book Award for 2007 and was shortlisted for the Orwell prize and for the World Book Day award.
Jay Griffiths is the author of Tristimania: A Diary of Manic Depression, Wild: An Elemental Journey; Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time; A Love Letter from a Stray Moon and Kith: The Riddle of the Childscape. She won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award for the best new non-fiction writer in the USA, and the Orion Book Award. She has also been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and a World Book Day award.