While an illness keeps her bedridden, Elisabeth Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence in a terrarium alongside her bed. She enters the rhythm of life of this mysterious creature, and comes to a greater understanding of her own confined place in the world. In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, she shares the inspiring and intimate story of her close encounter with Neohelix albolabris a common woodland snail. Intrigued by the snail's world from its strange anatomy to its mysterious courtship activities she becomes a fascinated and amused observer of the snail's curious life. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is an affirmation of the healing power of nature, revealing how much of the world we miss in our busy daily lives, and how truly magical it is. A remarkable journey of survival and resilience, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating shows how a small part of the natural world can illuminate our own human existence and deepen our appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
Elisabeth Tova Bailey's essays and short stories have been published in the Missouri Review, Northwest Review, and the Sycamore Review. Her work has received several Pushcart Prize nominations, and the essay on which this book is based received a notable essay listing in Best American Essays. She lives in Maine in the United States.
For more reviews of The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating and for radio interviews, upcoming events, and photos, please visit the author's own website at the following address:
For readers in the United Kingdom, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating launches on September 23, 2010, by Green Books.
Portrait of the author by E. LaRoche
Photo of terrarium by D. Smith