A Wild and Precious Life is a beautiful and unapologetically bold collection of work from writers who face the challenge of recovery or have emerged from it. The anthology, put together by Lily Dunn and Zoe Gilbert, shows the power of creativity as part of the healing process whilst also showcasing the stunning work of some incredible authors.
The collection features well known writers such as Julia Bell, Kate Brown, Alan McCormick and Laura Pearson, as well as others. It features poems, short stories and flash fiction that play with what painting a portrait of life through words really means.
I absolutely loved A Wild and Precious Life. The range of stories told was just sublime. I laughed and I cried and at points I completely lost track of time as I was absorbed in these stories. A favourite of mine was Protect Me From What I Want by Angie Kenny which tells the story of an ill-fated attempt at a one night stand. It was an incredible read that reminded me a little of Irvine Welsh’s writing that I just got lost in for a little while.
It’s very hard to pin down exactly who to recommend this book to as there is such a mash up of different writing styles that there is literally something for every kind of reader. As someone who loved it, I would say if you have ever read some Irvine Welsh or Alexander Trocchi then this is for you. It has a very bohemian or beat feel to it so maybe if you have a love for the Beat Generation such as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Carolyn Cassady you might find a home here. There’s a touch of Sylvia Plath here too.
A Wild and Precious Life is a wonderful anthology that I’m sure I’ll read again. I’m so pleased to have it on my shelves so I can keep revisiting it over and over.