A Country Called Childhood

A Country Called Childhood

Children and the Exuberant World

Jay Griffiths


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From the anthropologist and award-winning author of Wild: “an ardent, discursive, lyrical . . . paean to the lost paradise of childhood freedom in nature” (The New Republic).
While traveling the world to write her award-winning book Wild, Jay Griffiths began to observe the stark differences in childhood as it is experience in various cultures. One central riddle in particular captured her imagination: why are so many children in Euro-American cultures unhappy – and why do children in traditional cultures seem happier?
Griffiths locates the answer in the ways we have chosen to deny our children the freedoms of space, time and wilderness. Visiting communities from West Papua to the Arctic and the UK, and delving into history, philosophy, language and literature, she contends that children’s affinity for nature is an essential and universal element of childhood.
A Country Called Childhood is a journey deep into the heart of what it means to be a child, one that “will make you rethink not only your life as a parent, but also your childhood” (The New York Times).