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Cover for Gilgamesh Wilderness

Gilgamesh Wilderness

Jessamyn Smyth


List Price: 20.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In Jessamyn Smyth's story collection, The Inugami Mochi, we have known the witch's expansion and joy in her familiar Beloved, and we have known the terrible end. Now, in Gilgamesh Wilderness, the architecture of that great epic becomes a doorway through which the witch staggers on her mad walk west to kill death itself. Sometimes the greatest insight into what being human and mortal means comes through ancient stories and animal archetypes: in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the hero can only be made wise through loss of his wild Beloved, full knowledge of mortality, and utter humbling.

What happens to us when the Beloved is not human, but instead Enkidu, panther of the wilderness? What happens when the Beloved is Humbaba's forest in a literally burning world? What happens when the Beloved is of a species co-evolved with humans for more than 30,000 years, yet constrained to a painfully short lifespan? What happens to the witch when her familiar dies?

A container for meditation, eulogy, elegy, and humbling, Gilgamesh Wilderness is the soul cry in answer to the great human question: how do we go on, hearts open, in the presence of mortality?

Saddle Road Press, 9781736525838, 182pp.

Publication Date: November 2, 2021