The Word for Woman is Wilderness by Abi Andrews

The Word for Woman is Wilderness

Erin is 19. She's never really left England, but she has watched Bear Grylls and wonders why it's always men who get to go on all the cool wilderness adventures. So Erin sets off on a voyage into the Alaskan wilderness, a one-woman challenge to the archetype of the rugged male explorer.As Erin's journey takes her through the Arctic Circle, across the entire breadth of the American continent and finally to a lonely cabin in the wilds of Denali, sh...

Details The Word for Woman is Wilderness

TitleThe Word for Woman is Wilderness
Release DateFeb 1st, 2018
PublisherSerpent's Tail
GenreFiction, Literary Fiction, Feminism, Adventure, Travel

Reviews The Word for Woman is Wilderness

  • Paromjit
    Abi Andrews has written a remarkably ambitious and thought provoking meditation on what it is to be a woman with strong connections to the earth, the environment and the wilderness. She develops a philosophy through the young 19 year old Erin, a brave and courageous woman, who embarks on a thrilling and enthralling adventure through the Arctic wilderness and across the US. It begins with a reflection on why it is men who are explorers and adventu...
  • Paula Bardell-Hedley
    “Cetaceans are women's allies in the war against patriarchy because patriarchy holds the cetaceans down with us. Orcas travel in matriarchal pods. The root of the word dolphin, delphus, means womb." Erin is a young woman with a calling. She has barely ventured beyond her home town, but she has watched Bear Grylls's survival programmes on TV. She wonders why it is that men, but never women, get to be intrepid adventurers, and decides to prove th...
  • Eric Anderson
    Sometimes it can be so difficult to separate my emotional response to a book compared to my critical response. I don't think I necessarily have to which is one of the great things about a book blog! But reading Abi Andrews' debut novel “The Word for Woman is Wilderness” I was even more aware of this dilemma because it's inspired by and about subjects I'm really interested in and sympathetic towards. It's narrated from the perspective of ninet...
  • grass_harp
    Dear Erin,I spent so much time with you over the past week, either reading your (fictional) words or thinking about them throughout the day, criticising some of your standpoints and being fully convinced by others. I loved the way you set out on your great journey, somewhat independent and prepared, somewhat open to whatever comes your way. Moreover, I loved accompanying you through Iceland, Greenland and Canada to Alaska and see you grow along t...
  • Neil
    This is an adventure novel unlike any adventure novel you have read before (I think so, anyway: clearly, I haven’t read all of them, so I can’t be sure). There are two reasons for this. Firstly, the author, Abi Andrews, takes her female protagonist, Erin, into what has historically been a man’s world: exploring the wilderness. Secondly, the book’s mixture of fact and fiction is so well constructed that without the phrase "A Novel" in the ...
  • Anna
    I initially hesitated between four and five stars for this novel, as I wondered whether a major part of its appeal wasn’t that I found the narrator especially sympathetic and relatable. I too have often fantasised about retreat to a cabin in the wilderness with a pile of books to think big thoughts in peace and quiet. Then I wondered why the hell that wouldn’t be a legitimate reason for enjoying a book. ‘The Word for Woman is Wilderness’ ...
  • Elaine Mullane
    3.5 starsThe Word for Woman is Wilderness, the debut novel by Abi Andrews, introduces us to a teenage feminist explorer who ventures through the Arctic Circle, across the continent of America and on to Alaska, all in the name of woman.19-year-old Erin leaves her home in England and embarks on a journey that challenges both herself and the male dominated world of exploration. Drawing on the experiences of Bear Grylls and Christopher McCandless, Er...
  • Celyn
    A big thank you to NetGalley and Serpents Tail for providing me with an e-arc of this novel, in return for an honest review.In The Word for Woman is Wilderness, Abi Andrews succeeds in merging fictionalised travelogue and memoir with evocative nature writing and nuanced meditations on subjects as diverse as gender, imperialism and astro physics. The Word for Woman is Wilderness follows the thoughts and adventures of Erin, a funny and insightful 1...
  • Abi
    Wow... okay. I read this novel quite slowly, solely because it made me stare into space and reevaluate my life and my principles and my raisons d’être just about every... twenty pages or so. The voice created was incredibly strong... Erin was intelligent and likeable, somehow managing to be above both her readers and many of the people she met throughout the book but still grounded. One of my favourite things about the novel was that it put so...
  • Varsha Ravi (between.bookends)
    This is a very tricky one to write a review for as my overall experience was rather conflicting. This novel is part adventure, part travel writing, part philosophical musings, part coming-of-age and rediscovery, speckled with feminist ideals, the myth and beliefs of the Native Peoples of North America and vilifying of patriarchy and it's societal repercussions. That's a handful. And it works to the advantage and disadvantage of this novel. It's f...
  • Emilyrowan
    Ah, I really expected to love this. I'm a feminist and a climber! But it just didn't quite work for me.I liked the first half- I really enjoyed Erin's interactions with other people (particularly the ones that unsettled her because she couldn't compartmentalise them), and loved the scenes of her larking around in front of the camera pretending to be a Bear Grylls-style outdoors man. But the second half felt really baggy and was definitely in need...
  • Hannah Houlding
    I intend to re-read this later down the line as it was extremely poignant at times and once I have had time to digest it I feel it will make a lasting impression on my outlook on life. I haven't given it as high a rating as I think it deserves really as I found it quite difficult subject matter, so it may well be a book that I just was not ready to read currently.I do feel like I learnt some really interesting facts/themes that I knew very little...
  • Gretel
    Sometimes profound, but more often profoundly irritating.
  • Tommi
    Erin, the 19-year-old protagonist of Abi Andrews’s debut novel The Word for Woman is Wilderness, is determined to shake the stereotypes of male-dominated nature travelling by going to Alaska for an authentic experience of wilderness. With plans to shoot a video documentary of her trip, she embarks on the backpacking adventure by seafaring from England to Iceland, from there to Greenland, and finally from there to Canada and Alaska. (Air travel ...
  • Philipa Coughlan
    I struggled to get into this book about Erin aged 19 who decides she wants to go on a lone adventure across Iceland, America, Canada to reach her final wilderness destination Alaska and learn how to survive along the way.In the first few pages lots of ideas are being thrown at the reader and it seems to have a definite feminist angle which may put off some readers. However do persevere. Erin experiences so much during her travelling and is record...
  • Angie Sturrock
    I felt it worth leaving a bit of a written review, given I am most definitely in the minority in my rating of this book. I am quite a few years (decades...) away from being the target audience for Erin's story and I have no doubt this influenced my engagement with the book. I really think this is a case of 'it's me, not the book' in terms of how irritating I found both the writing and the narrator. Sarah Moss, in a Guardian review, summed up my t...
  • Claire Alexandra
    This book is a carefully, thoughtfully and well written narrative of the protagonist, Erin. I found myself learning, questioning, fantasising across every page. I spent a long time lusting after the male-lead novels and journeys of Kerouac and Krakauer - this is the book I have suddenly realised I need! Not to say that this is only relevant to women. It provides a different eye, a new telling of story that we all crave at heart, a journey that we...
  • Penelope
    I don't think I understood or agreed with everything this book had to say but I found myself being moved, inspired, angered and frustrated in equal measures. This wasn't a book I felt I read, more a journey I found myself on, that even if I wanted to I couldn't stop. A mixture of fact, fiction and streams of consciousness this wasn't an easy novel to read but I'm glad I did as it made me think about some things I hadn't thought about before, high...
  • Mrs Mallott
    I wanted to love this book. I really did. Maybe I am just too old to relate to the protagonist who I found to be an irritating mix of incredibly intelligent but also pretty naive. I did enjoy the second half of the book more than the first, but still found myself glossing over some of the scientific musings/tangents towards the end of the novel. To be honest, I think the style of writing and the structure make this book more memorable than the ac...
  • Alexander
    This is a rare book, so full of rich meaning and purpose that I think it likely that I’ll return to it time and again. The protagonist, Erin, is instantly believable, human with an idiosyncratic voice and opinions. A book perfect for our current times. It’s making me think, still, days after finishing. And that’s the market of a perfect story!
  • Daren Kearl
    I enjoyed the narrative of the novel - it often felt like a non-fiction travelogue slash nature writing discourse - but sometimes the in depth philosophical reasoning, especially towards the end, bogged me down. I found many of the diverting facts and thoughts very interesting, however. It’s certainly a fresh take on a popular theme.
  • Lipsy
    Originally posted @ https://lipsyy.wordpress.comI think this is the book I wanted to read when I picked up Flat Broke with Two Goats at the beginning of the year. Although The Word for Woman is Wilderness is fiction, it very much reads as a memoir, as we follow the determined, opinionated, and philosophical Erin on a courageous adventure from England to the Alaskan wilderness via everywhere in between.I lapped up the first half of this book. It's...
  • Kirsty Connell-Skinner
    #22 A book with alliteration in the title.2.5. Loved the concept of this book, and parts of the journey, but ultimately unsatisfying.
  • Ali Dunn
    Not for me unfortunately.
  • Lauren LaTulip
    Incredibly fresh, The Word for Woman is Wilderness is a road trip book, with Erin starting from England to trace the paths of Kerouac, Jack London and, bizarrely, the Unibomber Ted Kaczynski to Alaska. Reflecting the intellectual excitement, moral aspirations and occasional emotional obtuseness of a brilliant young adult, the novel is humorous and occasionally harrowing. Written as a diary and notes for a documentary film project, the art of the ...
  • Ellie White
    I found this a hard read- quite slow going but I was determined to finish. It was a bit padded and textbook like for me- too many anecdotes and unnecessary facts to show off intellect for my liking.
  • Lauren Hurrell
    Sharing a resemblance to Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, it’s not the first book of its kind, and I pray to god it isn’t the last, but my experience of reading this book has been tugging at the child in me, and that child says my god, thank you! It is one of those books that encapsulates the universal experiences of women, and human beings in general. This is the novel that my childhood yearned for, and I wish I could return to it and read it again ...