Elisabeth Tova Baileys essays and short stories have been published in the Missouri Review, Northwest Review, and the Sycamore Review. She has received several Pushcart Prize nominations, and the essay on which this book is based received a notable essay listing in Best American Essays. She lives in Maine.
This biography was last updated on 09/09/2010.
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The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is part memoir, part natural history and it details your relationship with a snail over the period of a year. What led you to write this book?
I wrote down some of my snail observations and a friend was so intrigued that she suggested I turn them into an essay. The essay seemed to really delight readers. After some years had passed, I wondered if there could be a book, but I wasnt sure there was more to write. I began to read scientific gastropod literature, fell in love with it, and found there was quite a bit more to say. I wrote the book partly because I felt I owed the snail a biographical thank you and partly because I felt the story would be of help to other people going through a rough time.
The setting for your book is the geographically and emotionally isolated space of your bedroom. How did you survive that situation?
The isolation and limits of illness can be very tough, sometimes even tougher than illness itself. I do not know how I, or anyone, survives such situations. The snail was very critical in getting me through a hard time. I think each of us, in surviving any difficult life challenge, have to find a way to stay connected to the world as that connection is what ...
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