Kith is Jay Griffiths's passionate examination of what it means to be a child.
While travelling the world in order to write her award-winning book Wild, Jay Griffiths became increasingly aware of the huge differences in how childhood is experienced in various cultures. One central riddle, in particular, captured her imagination: Why are so many children in Euro-American cultures unhappy -- and why is it that children in many traditional cultures seem happier?
In Kith, Jay Griffiths explores these questions and many more. Moving from communities in West Papua and the Arctic to the ostracised young people of contemporary Britain, she asks why we have enclosed our children in a consumerist cornucopia but denied them the freedoms of space, time and deep play. She uses history, philosophy, language and literature to illustrate children's affinity for the natural world and the essential quest element of childhood.
Kith is Jay Griffiths' impassioned, illuminating analysis of a universal rite of passage and an antidote to books such as Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. In its urgent defence of the rights and needs of every child, it is a journey into the heart of human experience.
'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.
If bravery itself could write (by definition it can't), it would write, I believe, like she does
[Griffiths has] the intelligence of a naturalist and the luminous originality of a visitor from another planet
Griffiths's writing is dexterous and lush
A rich and extraordinary vision. Jay Griffiths is a fearless adventurer with words and images. I salute her courage
Jay Griffiths is one of our most poetic and passionate critics of the ways of civilisation. Provocative, illuminating and shamelessly romantic
Jay Griffiths writes with such richness and mischief about the one thing that could truly save the world: its children
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