Tag Archives: Mary Oliver

The bloodthirst of fungi

I’ve recently had an essay published by Aeon magazine, an online journal “of ideas and culture” recently mooted as “the best magazine on the internet” by Pando Daily. If you haven’t come across Aeon before, please spend some happy hours browsing their previous offerings.

My favourites include Mary HK Choi’s tribute to her mother My Foreign Mom which made me cry and laugh out loud (sometimes at the same time) and Olivia Laing’s ode to loneliness Me, Myself and I. My friend Samira Shackle also wrote a great essay for them on Pakistan’s young generation, I’m No Terrorist.

My own essay, The Last Supper, was on the wonders and dangers of foraging for fungi, after a summer spent picking berries, herbs and mushrooms in the Lake District. Early forays into mycology only served to show me how much there was to learn about mushroom hunting, where one false identification can lead to death or a life on dialysis. Is the risk part of the charm?

It made Real Clear Science‘s daily reading list and picked as one of Pilcrow’s best longreads of 2013. Full text can be found on the Aeon website here, or after the fold. Continue reading

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