Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship - book cover
Specialty Travel
  • Publisher : Spiegel & Grau
  • Published : 06 Jul 2021
  • Pages : 304
  • ISBN-10 : 1954118007
  • ISBN-13 : 9781954118003
  • Language : English

Fox and I: An Uncommon Friendship



"The book everyone will be talking about … full of tenderness and understanding." – The New York Times

An "extraordinary" (Oprah Daily) memoir about the friendship between a solitary woman and a wild fox.

When Catherine Raven finished her PhD in biology, she built herself a tiny cottage on an isolated plot of land in Montana. She was as emotionally isolated as she was physically, but she viewed the house as a way station, a temporary rest stop where she could gather her nerves and fill out applications for what she hoped would be a real job that would help her fit into society. In the meantime, she taught remotely and led field classes in nearby Yellowstone National Park.

Then one day she realized that a mangy-looking fox was showing up on her property every afternoon at 4:15 p.m. She had never had a regular visitor before. How do you even talk to a fox? She brought out her camping chair, sat as close to him as she dared, and began reading to him from The Little Prince. Her scientific training had taught her not to anthropomorphize animals, yet as she grew to know him, his personality revealed itself and they became friends.

From the fox, Catherine learned the single most important thing about loneliness: we are never alone when we are connected to the natural world. Friends, however, cannot save each other from the uncontained forces of nature. 

Fox and I is a poignant and remarkable tale of friendship, growth, and coping with inevitable loss-and of how that loss can be transformed into meaning. It is both a timely tale of solitude and belonging as well as a timeless story of one woman whose immersion in the natural world will change the way we view our surroundings-each tree, weed, flower, stone, or fox.

Editorial Reviews

"Mysterious and magical."
-Wall Street Journal

"The book everyone will be talking about… [A] real-life friendship that mirrors the one between Saint-Exupéry's Little Prince and his fox, full of tenderness and understanding."
-The New York Times

"Entrancing…. Raven's gorgeous account of her bond with a fox while living in a remote cabin will open readers' eyes to the ways humans connect to the natural world and vice versa. … If there's one book you pick up this summer, make it this one."
-Bethanne Patrick, Washington Post

"What emotional vocabulary can express both the joy and the doubts [Raven] experienced devoting copious time and love to a wild creature? This fanciful, literate, unsentimental and yet deeply felt memoir is her answer. … [Raven is] a superb nature writer. … [T]he experience of journeying alongside her as she lives with Fox and meditates about him is extremely rewarding…Fox and I will appeal to those who despair about human depredation of the natural world and sense climate change as the looming, existential threat to life. But Raven's book isn't a treatise, it isn't a call to arms, it isn't political. Perhaps it is best understood as a plea for understanding. Raven needed Fox: He changed her, made her more comfortable in the world. He showed her that even when padding along under the glorious full moon's light, it's better to have someone at your side."
-Clare McHugh, Washington Post

"In this quiet, charming memoir, Raven recounts her journey to accepting this unusual companion.... Throughout, Raven writes about her environment with wonder and reverence but never formality-it's the easy affection of someone who's long made family of the natural world."
-BuzzFeed News

"Raven's extraordinary memoir is a love song to the animal who miraculously arrives in the front yard of her remote cabin every afternoon to be read passages from The Little Prince. A poetic, revelatory portrait of a biologist's solitary sojourn."
-Oprah Daily

"It's a familiar story arc: human becomes best friends with a wild animal and life lessons are learned. Yet in biologist and former Glacier National Park ranger Catherine Raven's hands, the story-of isolation and tender friendship with a wild fox-feels new. …Her memoir reminds us that connection to the natural world comes in many forms."
-Time Magazine

"[Raven's] reflections shine a spotlight on the path out of loneliness, reminding us all that nature itself will ensure none of us are ever truly alone."
-Zibby Owens, Good Morning America

"A soulful and indelible ex...

Readers Top Reviews

Good writing but there are many missing pages just blank. Can not read a book like this which is a shame.
Miguel Cervantes
Historia fantasiosa y sentimental. Apta para amantes de animales.
A. JohnsonMikiA
I worked with a wildlife rehabilitation group, and we from time to time got fox kits so I was really looking forward to reading this book, which was very disappointing. After fifty pages filled with duplicate repetitious phrases that were riddle with jargon meant to impress upon the reader that the author had degrees in biology and botany and lots of experience, I gave up. There wasn’t enough of a story to justify a book of 300 pages. I bought the book because I was “out- foxed” by the clever title.
MattBarry N. BishopW
The author spends a lot of time on her emotional baggage, but does not provide enough of a backstory to fully explain this baggage. We get nothing more than glimpses. We're left with an image of a peculiar person who, for example, laments never owning a television or a credit card. She constantly references her PhD, almost as if despearte to say "I'm not a total dingbat." (People who are confident in their knowledge don't constantly reference their academic degrees.) She seems reticient to put her academic knowledge to good use - yet another quirk. Maybe none of this should matter. However, the author's emotional baggage changes the tone of the story. What should have been a charming story about a woman and a fox ends up reading like "Crazy Cat Woman Makes Friends with a Fox."

Featured Video