Looking to the Wild in the Time of the Spyglass
Hardcover May 2021
by Martin Shaw
“With potent, lyrical language and a profound knowledge of storytelling, Shaw encourages and illuminates the mythic in our own lives. He is a modern-day bard.” – Madeline Miller, author of Circe and The Song of Achilles
At a time when we are all confronted by not one, but many crossroads in our modern lives—identity, technology, trust, politics, and a global pandemic—celebrated mythologist and wilderness guide Martin Shaw delivers Smoke Hole: three metaphors to help us understand our world, one that is assailed by the seductive promises of social media and shadowed by a health crisis that has brought loneliness and isolation to an all-time high.
Smoke Hole is a passionate call to arms and an invitation to use these stories to face the complexities of contemporary life, from fake news, parenthood, climate crises, addictive technology and more. Shaw urges us to reclaim our imagination and untangle ourselves from modern menace, letting these tales be our guide.
“I can still remember the first time I heard Martin Shaw tell a story. The tale that emerged was like a living thing, bounding around, throwing itself at us there listening. I had never heard anything like it before.” – Paul Kingsnorth, Booker shortlisted author of The Wake
“Martin Shaw’s work is so very beautiful. A new animal. His love of images is deep and contagious.” – Coleman Barks, author of The Essential Rumi
“Through feral tales and poetic exegesis, Martin Shaw makes you re-see the world, as a place of adventure, and of initiation, as perfect home, and as perfectly other. What a gift.” – David Keenan, author of Xstabeth
“Shaw has so much wisdom and knowledge about the old stories, it emanates from his pores.” – John Densmore, The Doors