Jay Griffiths is the author of a wonderful book called 'Wild'. Although 'Wild' was published five years ago, it is growing in word-of-mouth popularity and has recently struck a cord with musicians, which perhaps has something to do with the lyrical and poetic quality of her writing.
Earlier this year, Radiohead guitarist Ed O'Brien recommended 'Wild' on the Radiohead blog; Nicolai Fraiture, the bassist for The Strokes, who interviewed Jay last month; and KT Tunstall has written that 'Wild' is her favourite book and has quoted from 'Wild' in her album 'Tiger Suit'. I am guessing that the Uummannaq Song is particularly inspired by 'Wild' (though I might be wrong!).
I was fascinated by 'Wild', especially the way that Jay combined science and art to make the book something that informs and also touches the heart. Reading the book, you follow Jay's journey through the Amazon rainforest, the Arctic, the outback in Australia, West Papua and the ocean off the coast of Indonesia. She observes environmental damage, but social damage as well - to the lives of indigenous people who traditionally live in these places.
To find out more, you can hear to my interview with Jay, below. Jay kindly agreed to include some readings for the recording - which is about 30 mins long. So sit with a cup of tea and listen to this:
Warning: Contains some adult language.