In June 2019 we invited Paul Kingsnorth to discuss his latest book, Savage Gods, with Charles Foster, in front of a live audience at Denman+Gould in Somerset. The resulting conversation takes in being an outcast, pain, leaving and contentment, the recording of stories and our relationship to the land.
Paul Kingsnorth is an acclaimed writer of fiction, non fiction and poetry. His books include One No, Many Yeses, Real England, Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist, Beast and The Wake, which won the Gordon Burn Prize and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His journalism appears widely, including for The Guardian, The New Statesman, The Daily Telegraph and The London Review of Books. He lives with his family on a small-holding in the west of Ireland.
Charles Foster is the author of Being a Beast. He is a fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford.
After moving with his wife and two children to a small holding in Ireland, Paul Kingsnorth expected to find contentment. It was the goal he had sought – to nest, to find home – after years of rootlessness as an environmental activist and author. Instead he found his tools as a writer were failing him, calling into question his foundational beliefs about language and setting him at odds with culture itself.
Informed by his travels across the world, the writings of D.H. Laurence and Annie Dillard, and a day-to-day travails of farming his own land, Savage Gods asks: what does it mean to belong? What sacrifices must be made in order to truly inhabit a life? And can words ever paint the truth of the world – or are they part of the great lie which is killing it?
Buy Savage Gods from our website here.
The photograph of Paul Kingsnorth is by Jay Armstrong of Elementum Journal.