The Sound of A Wild Snail Eating

The Sound of A Wild Snail Eating

Book - 2010
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In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Tova Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her encounter with a Neohelix albolabris --a common woodland snail.

While an illness keeps her bedridden, Bailey watches a wild snail that has taken up residence on her nightstand. As a result, she discovers the solace and sense of wonder that this mysterious creature brings and comes to a greater understanding of her own place in the world.

Intrigued by the snail's molluscan anatomy, cryptic defenses, clear decision making, hydraulic locomotion, and courtship activities, Bailey becomes an astute and amused observer, offering a candid and engaging look into the curious life of this underappreciated small animal.

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world can illuminate our own human existence, while providing an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.

Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781616206420
Branch Call Number: 594.38 Bailey 08/2010
Characteristics: xiii, 190 p. :,ill. ;,19 cm.


From the critics

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Feb 21, 2019

The author brings you into her unfortunately paralyzed world which leads her (and the reader) to heightened observations and discoveries. Very enjoyable and informative.

multcolib_susannel May 02, 2017

When a friend brings her a wild violet plant that also contains a snail, the bedridden author is fascinated by the its quiet habits.

Nov 23, 2016

Not only did I not ever pay attention to snails (well, not since childhood anyways), but I actually sort of abhorred them. Might be something lingering from a time when I was fortunate to have access to garden plots. I found this title referenced in and set out to read it shortly after finishing 'Unseen City,' and I'm pleased I did. Who knew gastropods could be so interesting! A short, easy read filled with lovely quotes, poem stanzas, and the author's observations and experiences.

Oct 21, 2016

I appreciated the slow pace feeling this book gave me. It makes you stop and think about the time it takes to observe all the details of something like a snail.

Oct 21, 2016

I love reading books that teach me something new, and this "lovely little book" did that for me. A memoir of illness with an unlikely companion that satisfies yet leaves me wanting more. I hope Bailey continues to write - I want to continue reading her work!

Jul 18, 2016

This was a lovely little book that made me look more closely at the snails that cross my path when I was out hiking with my dog. There were many details about her snail and its lifestyle, but I would have liked to hear more about her time lying in bed and managing her physical limitations.

Sep 11, 2015

This is a short memoir, filled with information about snails. You easily learn more than you ever wanted to know about the creatures, and the prose is fluid and thoughtful.
I picked up the book as a medical memoir, but appreciated it much more as a nature piece.

Jul 14, 2015

A gentle and fascinating read during which you will learn incredible details about a snail's life, as well as the determination of a woman ravaged by an undetermined parasite.

Feb 13, 2015

Artist, writer, and a very active nature-lover -- Bailey was suddenly bedridden by a mysterious disease. This is the exquisitely written story of the unexpected path which led to her psychological recovery in the midst of long-term, devastating collapse. A book with lots of heart, about the discovery of hope.

Aug 24, 2012

A tender, informative little book. It even had me wondering if I might enjoy having my own snail! Readers who like this would also enjoy a book from the late 90s called "A Country Year: Living the Questions" by Sue Hubbell. It's still in print and in our library.

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Oct 21, 2016

Librarydog thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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