A fox, grown strong on pepperoni pizza from the dustbins of the East End, dances along a railway track towards Essex, the territory of wild foxes and wilder huntsmen.
An orca, mourning the loss of her mother in a valley west of Skye, knows that she must now lead the pod as matriarch. She swims again through her childhood, thinking about the old ways, the old roads, laid down thousands of years ago. But the old roads aren't so easy now.
At moonrise in a West Country river, an otter floats slowly downstream. The tide, though it pushes him landwards when it exhales, seems to pull him out when it inhales. He turns on his back. He can see the stars clearly for the first time and wonders if he can swim to them.
The wild has never stopped waiting. It has only ever been in exile, right under our noses, waiting to confound, outrage and re-enchant.
Charles Foster is a New York Times bestselling author whose work has been longlisted for the Baillie Gifford Prize, shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize for nature writing, and won the IgNobel Prize for Biology and the 30 Millions d'Amis Prize. He is a fellow of Exeter College, University of Oxford, and has particular passions for Greece, waves, the Upper Palaeolithic, mountains and swifts.
"Highly imaginative [...] Evocative and beautifully written, it's a deeply immersive read."
"Charles Foster is the most original voice in nature writing today – funny, urgent, poetic, philosophical and deeply moving. These shape-shifting, illuminating stories send us into the souls of other animals, bequeathing them personhood and giving us precious enlightenment and, hopefully, the inspiration to take action."
– Patrick Barkham, author of Wild Green Wonders
"Utterly exhilarating. Cry of the Wild gives us the chance to viscerally inhabit the lives of a cast of wild creatures as they navigate the rigours of a changed world. By turns tragic and joyful, every story yields fascinating insights into the way our fellow earthlings make their way through life. Through their eyes, we see ourselves, and the unholy ecological havoc we're wreaking. With the power both to move and to shame us, this book demands that we change our ways."
– Lee Schofield, author of Wild Fell
"Cry of the Wild is spectacular and unique. It is beautiful and engrossing, full of erudition and heart. Foster's detailed eloquence brings us within a chromosome's thickness of experiencing first-hand our impacts on the lives of his eight wild protagonists – so that reading this book feels like being made suddenly omniscient. In other words, you really have to."
– Tom Moorhouse, author of Ghosts in the Hedgerow
"Charles Foster's new volume of animal stories may be challenging in content and deadly serious in terms of its moral purpose, but his prose is also astonishingly playful, humorous, immensely varied and outrageously intelligent. For my money he is the most inventive British writer presently at work on the theme of nature."
– Mark Cocker, author of Our Place
"There aren't many writers like Charles around [...] His ability to step across emotional boundaries and enter the consciousness of the wild makes for an exhilarating, immersive, yet at times disturbing read. For me, the end result is a deeply thought-provoking book that encourages the reader to explore for themselves exactly where they stand on issues of humanity, conservation and moral legacy."
– James Aldred, author of Goshawk Summer