About this book
The Call of the American West
An evocative blend of narrative nonfiction, personal memoir, nature writing, and reportage in the style of Barry Lopez and Annie Dillard, Surrender explores the changing landscape of the American West and the outsider eco-cultures that have taken root in an era of increasing climatic disruption.
The mid-life crisis handed to Joanna Pocock came in a box marked with one simple word: Montana. With their seven-year-old daughter in tow, Joanna and her husband packed up their house, filled one suitcase each, and left the rhythms of life in England behind for their great adventure in the American West.
Blending personal memoir with insightful reportage and vivid nature writing, award-winning writer Joanna Pocock investigates the changing landscape of the West and the radical environmental movements that have taken root in the Mountain States. She witnesses the annual tribal bison hunt near Yellowstone Park, where she meets a scavenger community honing ancestral skills. She joins Finisia Medrano, a transgender rewilder who for many years has been living on the “hoop,” following her food source by seasonal migration. She attends the Ecosex Convergence — an annual gathering of people who place their relationship with the earth above everything else — and attends a workshop led by Reverend Teri Ciacchi, a sexologist, priestess of Aphrodite, and holistic spiritual healer in the Living Love Revolution Church.
In the style of Barry Lopez, Annie Dillard, and Eula Biss, Surrender explores the outsider cultures oblossoming in the new American West in an era of increasing climatic disruption, rising sea levels, animal extinctions, melting glaciers, and catastrophic wildfires.
About the Author
JOANNA POCOCK is an Irish-Canadian writer living in London, U.K. Her essays, reviews, and travel pieces have appeared in Distinctly Montana, Litro, the Sunday Independent, the Los Angeles Times, the Nation, Orion, Tahoma Literary Review, and 3:AM, and on the Dark Mountain blog. She was a finalist for the Barry Lopez Narrative Nonfiction Prize in 2017 and won the 2018 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize for Surrender. She teaches creative writing at the University of the Arts in London and works as a freelance editor for a variety of publishers.