Priscilla Stuckey: “Kissed by a Fox and Other Stories of Friendship in Nature”

See image credit below.

See image credit below.

Priscilla Stuckey’s Kissed by a Fox: And Other Stories of Friendship in Nature is a gem of a book. Published in 2012, the book reminds me – in format – of Alastair McIntosh’s Soil and Soul: People Versus Corporate Power, as it weaves together powerful memoir, history and philosophy, and what one reviewer called a “prophetic call to live more justly.”

Kissed by a Fox, Stuckey’s debut volume, pulls from every area of the author’s life. From her struggles with depression and illness to her life-affirming romance with her now-partner, from her childhood upbringing as a Mennonite to her doctoral studies in religion, from her wide-ranging examination of theology, philosophy, biology, and ecology to (most powerfully) her encounters with nature at various points in her life, Stuckey puts everything on the table.

One of the most stunning passages in the book is its opening, in which Stuckey recounts her fervent desire to see her first bald eagle. On Lopez Island, off the coast of Seattle, in “prime bald eagle country,” Stuckey is initially frustrated by the fact that she has not seen any of the majestic creatures, despite the presence of a nest near where she is staying. She calls to the eagles, offers a kind of prayer that one will show itself to her. You’ll have to listen to Stuckey read this passage to find out what happens! (See the “Listen” box below.)

Kissed by a Fox is rich reading. It draws from many faith traditions and schools of philosophical thought. Ultimately, it pushes us to think about our relationship with the natural world in wholly new ways and to imagine a new, collaborative way to live on Earth.

Since its publication three years ago, Kissed by a Fox has received rave reviews. It won Foreword Reviews’ 2012 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award, Silver Award, and the 2013 WILLA Award for Creative Nonfiction. Publisher’s Weekly called it an “entertaining and emotionally resonant book.” Richard Louv described it as a “book of healing.” And Temple Grandin said, “Kissed by a Fox will make you think about life and nature in a different way.”

All of this is spot on – but you’ll have to read the book to find out for yourself how Stuckey manages to pull off her masterful feat! Learn more by visiting Stuckey’s website for the book.

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Listen:Listen as Priscilla Stuckey reads the opening passage from the prologue to Kissed by a Fox – and follow along with the text of the prologue. The reading runs 12 minutes.

Image Credit: Priscilla Stuckey, photo by Dana Rogers.