Courting the Wild Twin
By Martin Shaw
‘Terrifically strange and thrilling. One for all you storytellers.’ —Melissa Harrison, author of All Among the Barley
The business of stories is not enchantment.
The business of stories is not escape.
The business of stories is waking up.
Courting the Wild Twin is a book of literary activism—an antidote to the shallow thinking that typifies our age. It challenges us to wake up, to revive our ‘condition of wondering’ and examine our broken relationship with the world. We need to think boldly, wildly and in new ways about ourselves, as individuals and as a collective, to confront modern challenges with purpose, courage and creativity.
After all, stories are our secret weapons—and they might just save us.
In Courting the Wild Twin, acclaimed scholar and mythologist Martin Shaw unravels two ancient European fairy tales concerning the mysterious ‘wild twin’ located deep inside all of us. By reading these tales and becoming storytellers ourselves, he challenges us to confront modern life with purpose, courage, and creativity.
Shaw summons the reader to the ‘ragged edge of the dark wood’ to seek out this estranged, exiled self—the part we generally shun or ignore to conform to societal norms—and invite it back into our consciousness. If there was something we were meant to do with our few, brief years on Earth, we can be sure that our wild twin is holding the key.
Reviews and Praise
‘Terrifically strange and thrilling. One for all you storytellers.’—Melissa Harrison, author of All Among the Barley
‘This magical book underlines the ability of storytelling to rewrite reality while functioning as a practical—and highly personal—guide to the rewilding of the self.’—David Keenan, author of For the Good Times
‘Courting the Wild Twin revels in the fabulous—the alchemy of story, primaeval nouse and narrative. Shaw is proof of William Blake’s adage that “Truth can never be told so as to be understood and not believed.” A thrilling exploration of ancient ambiguity, this book digs deep into the miraculous mulch of myth.’—Dan Richards, author of Outpost
‘A book that comprehends the forests of the soul, written with fierce courage and audacious wildness.’—Jay Griffiths, author of Wild
‘This remarkable, powerful, provocative and timely book is about the same size as your smartphone. Carry it in your other pocket, and every time you reach for your phone, take this out instead. Give your imagination, your activism, your poetic/mythic self some soul food. That’s what I did, and it delighted me every time.’—Rob Hopkins, author of From What Is to What If
‘Martin Shaw turns words into stories and stories into unpredictable excursions in search of the Wild Twin within each and all. He reveals the importance of this often exiled, yet deeply necessary inner otherness, the very part that holds the secret sense of rapport and essential relatedness that entwines human nature with the heart of Mother Nature.’—Michael Meade, author of Awakening the Soul
‘Courting the Wild Twin beckons us to step through the doorway that stories create, and reveals a pathway to awakening our relationship with the world around—and with ourselves.’—Dee Dee Chainey, author of A Treasury of British Folklore