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Fox & I  By  cover art

Fox & I

By: Catherine Raven
Narrated by: Stacey Glemboski
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Publisher's Summary

A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year * 2021 Summer Reading Pick by BUZZFEED * NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW * KIRKUS * TIME MAGAZINE * GOOD MORNING AMERICA * PEOPLE MAGAZINE * THE WASHINGTON POST

“The book everyone will be talking about … full of tenderness and understanding.” – The New York Times

An “extraordinary” (Oprah Daily) memoir about the friendship between a solitary woman and a wild fox.

When Catherine Raven finished her PhD in biology, she built herself a tiny cottage on an isolated plot of land in Montana. She was as emotionally isolated as she was physically, but she viewed the house as a way station, a temporary rest stop where she could gather her nerves and fill out applications for what she hoped would be a real job that would help her fit into society. In the meantime, she taught remotely and led field classes in nearby Yellowstone National Park.

Then one day she realized that a mangy-looking fox was showing up on her property every afternoon at 4:15 p.m. She had never had a regular visitor before. How do you even talk to a fox? She brought out her camping chair, sat as close to him as she dared, and began reading to him from The Little Prince. Her scientific training had taught her not to anthropomorphize animals, yet as she grew to know him, his personality revealed itself and they became friends.

From the fox, Catherine learned the single most important thing about loneliness: we are never alone when we are connected to the natural world. Friends, however, cannot save each other from the uncontained forces of nature.

Fox and I is a poignant and remarkable tale of friendship, growth, and coping with inevitable loss—and of how that loss can be transformed into meaning. It is both a timely tale of solitude and belonging as well as a timeless story of one woman whose immersion in the natural world will change the way we view our surroundings—each tree, weed, flower, stone, or fox.

©2021 Catherine Raven (P)2021 Spiegel & Grau

Editor's Pick

A moving, literary wildlife memoir on isolation and companionship
As a lifelong advocate for the well-being of our planet and the flora and fauna that inhabit it, I’m fascinated by the relationships forged between humans and the diverse range of creatures we are so fortunate to share a home with. Needless to say, Catherine Raven’s thoughtful, gorgeously formed memoir, Fox & I, struck a chord. A biologist and former National Park ranger, Raven details her unexpected, life-changing friendship with a wild fox that begins to regularly visit her remote Montana home, without losing sight of the complex wonders of nature and the inner lives of our nonhuman neighbors. With a near-poetic command of language and intertwined with references to literary greats like Herman Melville and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, this listen is a combination of rich, meditative personal narrative and contemplative nature writing you won’t soon forget. —Alanna M., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Fox & I

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  • Overall
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Nature is cruel.

I think the author is a good writer and I'm sure her experiences were interesting but it was very hard to get through descriptions of nature at its worst. I think she tells a very accurate account of nature, but I'm just not up for it. I didn't finish the book because it was too sad for me.

5 people found this helpful

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Wonderful if you like . . .

This was a wonderful experience but probably not for everyone. The writer is quirky, brilliant — with strange mix of the lyrical and analytic and extremely original The pace is slow with a gentle, faint plot. The story is tiny and at the same time about massive questions regarding the relationship between the human and natural worlds. I was so sad when the book ended and hope Raven will publish more soon

3 people found this helpful

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Worth the listen!

As a biologist myself, I truly enjoyed this heartwarming, educational story and found myself relating to much that was written.

The narrator was absolutely excellent! Hard to believe she wasn’t the actual author!

3 people found this helpful

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Fox and I

A heartfelt story brimming with many lessons and facts about our wild cousins, a must read for all nature enthusiasts who truly care about wildlife. I could not put this book down!

3 people found this helpful

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Well Written, Poignant Story

The author’s attitude towards “pets” rankled me throughout the book. Not all “kept” dogs are “terriers in tartan”. And many “kept dogs” are indeed appreciated for their dog attributes, including amazing breed specific traits. I found it arrogant of her to say that a pet, as an owned animal, not free animal, cannot be a friend. She may have a rich life, but she is blind to the mutual richness that others experience with beloved pets.

2 people found this helpful

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De gustibus non disputandem est

But, for my taste, this effort is not recommended. Unless, of course, you cotton to credulous tales of oversold wonder, told in empurpled prose that will be familiar to any reader of high school creative writing journals.

2 people found this helpful

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A favorite!

One of my favorite books ever! Up there with Olga Tokarczuk's Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.

1 person found this helpful

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unexpectedly lovely bio

soothing information filled autobiography of naturalist that is charming and a privilege to hear

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Call and instruction of the Wild

Broad insights from natural world offer wisdom for human living. The narrative was not as compelling as the breadth of understanding exhibited. Good book.

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Interesting, but a little tough on audiobook

The overall story is very sweet and thoughtful, and absolutely did I come away with a newfound appreciation for nature. The plant and animal descriptions were excellent and the visuals they create served only to make me wish I could visit these places myself even more.
However, the writing is a bit frenetic. There are switches between locations and time periods that caused me to lose track of the point the author was trying to make in the chapter. Also, the pov switches to that of the fox a few times, and on audiobook, when there are no obvious paragraphs or punctuation that would make this more clear when reading a physical book, there were several times I struggled to understand who was “talking”.
Overall I did enjoy the book, but found it a bit difficult to follow and wonder if I would have felt different reading a physical copy.