Kith: The Riddle of the Childscape

Author(s): Jay Griffiths

Words & Ideas

"Kith" is a passionate examination of what it means to be a child, by Jay Griffiths, the award-winning author of "Wild". While travelling the world in order to write her award-winning book "Wild", Jay Griffiths became increasingly aware of the huge differences in how childhood is experienced in various cultures. One central riddle, in particular, captured her imagination: Why are so many children in Euro-American cultures unhappy - and why is it that children in many traditional cultures seem happier? In "Kith", Jay Griffiths explores these questions and many more. Moving from communities in West Papua and the Arctic to the ostracised young people of contemporary Britain, she asks why we have enclosed our children in a consumerist cornucopia but denied them the freedoms of space, time and deep play. She uses history, philosophy, language and literature to illustrate children's affinity for the natural world and the essential quest element of childhood. "Kith" is Jay Griffiths' impassioned, illuminating analysis of a universal rite of passage. In its urgent defence of the rights and needs of every child, it is a journey into the heart of human experience. "If bravery itself could write (by definition it can't), it would write, I believe, like she does". (John Berger). "Griffiths' writing is dexterous and lush". ("New York Times Book Review"). "Jay Griffiths is a fearless adventurer with words and images. I salute her courage". (Philip Pullman). Jay Griffiths is the author of "Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time"; "Wild: An Elemental Journey"; and "A Love Letter from a Stray Moon", a novella about the life of Frida Kahlo. She is the winner of the inaugural Orion Book Award and of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award for the best new non-fiction writer to be published in the USA. She has also been shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and the World Book Day award.


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Jay Griffiths is the author of Pip Pip: A Sideways Look at Time and Wild: An Elemental Journey, both hugely acclaimed by readers, writers and musicians alike. A Love Letter from a Stray Moon, a fictionalised account on the life of Frida Kahlo, was released as an exclusive Penguin Special in 2012. She grew up in England and now lives in Wales.

General Fields

  • : 9780241144343
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Hamish Hamilton Ltd
  • : March 2013
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : May 2013
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 305.23
  • : 432
  • : Jay Griffiths
  • : Hardback
  • : 1