Wolfish: Wolf, Self, and the Stories We Tell About Fear

Flatiron. Feb. 2023. 432p. ISBN 9781250821621. $29.99. NAT HIST
Berry’s debut nonfiction title is an exploration of more than just the biology of wolves and the nature of human interactions with these mysterious creatures; it is an analysis of the polarization that plagues modern American society, preventing many from distinguishing experiences and individuals as more than just right or wrong, hero or criminal, more nuanced than simplistic. The story of the wolves repopulating Oregon takes center stage, alongside traditional tales from Aesop to the Brothers Grimm. It is compared and contrasted with anecdotes from the author’s own life, which provide a framework for examining the bigger picture—the nature of fear and how it makes some feel inclined to vilify people, places, and experiences they do not fully comprehend or have not directly encountered.
VERDICT A fascinating read, perfect for fans of Mary Roach’s Fuzz, or anyone who enjoys learning about wolves and what they can teach about human nature.
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