I have work to do, but still I can’t put down Nastassja Martin’s In the Eye of the Wild
—Jessa Crispin, The Spectator
In the Eye of the Wild is Martin’s haunting, genre-defying memoir of the year that followed [her attack], though in Sophie R. Lewis’s elegant translation from the French, it becomes clear that ‘memoir’ is another word that doesn’t quite fit this slender yet expansive book. . . What Martin describes in this book isn’t so much a search for meaning as an acceptance of its undoing.
—Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times Book Review
Martin’s narrative, with the bones of a personal essay and the lift of a prose poem . . . hunts for beauty in what remains occluded and apart. The result is heady and obsessive, as Martin smashes again and again against the limits of what anyone can know: What is a self? What is ‘the other’? . . . . Just how precious or sacred are you, really, if a bear can suddenly rip off part of your head?
—Katy Waldman, The New Yorker
Stunning. . . With exquisite prose and sharp observations, Martin reveals how curiosity can uncover the most vivid aspects of the human condition. This is a profound look at the violence and beauty of life.
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
[A] slim, stirring book. . . Despite the harrowing experience at its core, In the Eye of the Wild couldn’t be further from a conventional survival memoir. . . Martin sets out to transcend familiar modes in order to let the terrible strangeness of her experience speak.
—Nathan Goldman, The Baffler
Martin returns obsessively to her violent encounter, struggling to make sense of it. In the Eye of the Wild is a thrilling story of survival, reminiscent of Artaud and Michaux, poised at the brink of the abyss.
—Le Monde des Livres
A staggering book of metamorphoses, a hybrid of anthropology and literature, In the Eye of the Wild is both the record of an interior journey and an invitation to the reader to see the world in another way altogether.
Beautifully gruesome. . . A fascinating, ambitious exploration of animism—the border between human and animal—and how she sees her encounter with the bear as a manifestation of a breakdown. . . The book represents both a collapse and a rebuilding. The language, in Sophie R Lewis’s elegant translation, is often seductive.
—John Self, The Guardian
[In the Eye of the Wild is] composed in lucid, compressed prose. Straddling the visceral and the cerebral, the book is at once a riveting memoir of a life-altering encounter with a wild animal and a heady exploration of borders and liminality; the self as it interacts with, and absorbs some part of, the other; and the limits of anthropology as a method of understanding all of this. . . . Captivating and eminently readable.
—Megan Milks, 4Columns
A gripping, thoughtful look at nature, and what happens when it turns hostile.