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UK independent publisher Canongate has bought a compelling study of man’s relationship with wolves that is part history, part memoir and part rumination on fear.

Cry Wolf is by the prolific American essayist Erica Berry whose work has appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines including the New York Times, the Guardian and the Columbia Journalism Review.  Hannah Knowles, editorial director at Canongate, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Emma Leong at Janklow & Nesbit (UK) after a six-way auction.

The book looks at the role of the wolf in our collective subconscious, and how it has fed some of our deepest fears.  In an essay entitled ‘Why we fear wolves’ she wrote: ‘The line between an evil man and an evil wolf has always been thin.  In other words: how have we tried to reconcile the evil that lies within our human communities and human hearts? We have made it strange. We have made it an outlaw. We have made it a lone wolf.’

The book examines fear through the relationship between people and wolves. The publisher says: ‘From environmental researcher, 2018 Steinberg Prize-winner, and essayist for the New York TimesGuardian, and elsewhere, Erica Berry’s Cry Wolf is a powerful meditation on fear through a kaleidoscopic inquiry into the relationship between humans and wolves, anchored in the dual stories of wolves as vital environmental force and the author’s coming of age in a gendered landscape of predator and prey.’

Knowles said: “Erica’s writing is imbued with self-awareness, intelligence and a musicality of prose that is intoxicating to read. Her honesty in examining her own experiences of fear – both of being afraid and of instilling fear in others – allows her to explore the subject in a way that will resonate greatly with anyone who reads her words.”

Berry says:  “As a reader, I have long been inspired by Canongate’s lyrical and fiercely thought-provoking books, so it is an absolute dream to join them as an author. A good chunk of research for the book was done in and around England, and I am so looking forward to working with Canongate to bring this book to UK audiences.”

Flatiron will publish the title in the US alongside Canongate in the UK, though a date has not yet been decided.