Nonfiction, Am Oved, 2017
#1 Best Seller since Publication in April
40,000 copies sold
eir Shalev writes about his garden in the Jezreel Valley, where he has nourished wild trees and plants, sown seeds of cyclamen, anemone, daffodil, crocus, squill, poppy and many other wildflowers, and where he socializes with the garden’s true owners: birds, hedgehogs, butterflies, wild pigs, snakes and other friends. None of them know they live in the Holy Land, sacred to the three religions that have fought each other for many hundreds of years. Here, though, the politics of the Middle East is one of planters, ants, flowers and gardeners. The countryside of the Middle East, prevalent in all of Meir Shalev’s novels, takes center stage.
With love and humor he tells of the colors, the fragrances and the sounds that rise up from his garden, of shifting seasons and changing times, of his thoughts on germination, desiccation, planting, blooming and weeding. He describes the harvesting and sowing of buttercup and poppy seeds, his war with a mole, the relationship between land and man, those who preceded him and those who will follow. On the way he teaches a little literature, history and mythology, how to cause rain to fall, gather figs, concoct limoncello and pickle olives.
This book is not a manual or a textbook, either of botany or gardening. It is simply a collection of impressions of a modest wild garden, and a gardener who tends it and looks after it, someone who at a relatively late age found himself a hobby, and perhaps even a new love.
MY WILD GARDEN is accompanied by sketches and drawings by Refaella Shir
Rights Sold to:
Israel, Am Oved; Germany, Diogenes; Holland, Ambo Anthos; Italy: Bompiani; USA/Canada, Pantheon/Schocken; France: Gallimard