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A Country Called Childhood

Children and the Exuberant World
Paperback Book
Publisher: 
Counterpoint
 | 
November, 2015
ISBN:
9781619025844
In stock now: 
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Banyen's Description: 

While traveling 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 traditional cultures seem happier? In A Country Called Childhood, Griffiths seeks to discover why we deny our children the freedoms of space, time and the natural world. Visiting communities as far apart as West Papua and the Arctic as well as the UK, and delving into history, philosophy, language and literature, she explores how children’s affinity for nature is an essential and universal element of childhood. It is a journey deep into the heart of what it means to be a child, and it is central to all our experiences, young and old.

“What is fascinating about Griffith’s book is how deftly and poetically she brings together stories and ideas from a vast body of literature and a wide range of cultures and individuals... In the deepest sense, A Country Called Childhood is a highly personal, passionate, and inspiring call to bring childhood back to its roots in nature and imagination.”—Orion

“Griffiths goes beyond the current debates on child-rearing practices—e.g., overstructured play, too much time online and too little quality family time—and examines what she considers a more fundamental flaw: the separation of children from a natural environment... A provocative critique of modern society.” —Kirkus

Publisher’s Description: 

While traveling 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 traditional cultures seem happier? In A Country Called Childhood, Griffiths seeks to discover why we deny our children the freedoms of space, time and the natural world. Visiting communities as far apart as West Papua and the Arctic as well as the UK, and delving into history, philosophy, language and literature, she explores how children's affinity for nature is an essential and universal element of childhood. It is a journey deep into the heart of what it means to be a child, and it is central to all our experiences, young and old.

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