The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating (Paperback)

By Elisabeth Tova Bailey

Algonquin Books, 9781616206420, 208pp.

Publication Date: September 6, 2016

September 2010 Indie Next List

“A woman, confined to her bed, watches a snail on her night stand, living a life that mirrors the limitations of her own. What follows is an oddly compelling story of her discovery of companionship and beauty in the most unexpected of creatures.”

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Description

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.
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