Living With a Wild God

A Non-Believer’s Search for the Truth about Everything

Barbara Ehrenreich

Published: 2 April 2015
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 272 pages
ISBN: 9781847084101


Barbara Ehrenreich is an acclaimed social critic on both sides of the Atlantic, renowned for her trenchant, witty polemics, her pieces of journalism, and her trademark intelligence. She writes with unparalleled precision, insight and a rationalist's unwavering gaze.

But in middle age, she rediscovered the journal she had kept during her tumultuous adolescence, which records an event so strange that she had never, in all the intervening years, written or spoken about it. It was the kind of event that people call a 'mystical experience' - and to a steadfast atheist and rationalist, was nothing less than shattering.

In Living with a Wild God, Ehrenreich vividly explores her life-long quest to find 'the truth' about the universe and everything else, in an attempt to reconcile this cataclysmic, defining moment with her secular understanding of the world. The result is a profound reflection on science, religion and the human condition, and a personal insight into the inner life of one of our finest thinkers. It is a book that challenges us all to reassess our perceptions of the world and what it means to be alive.

About the author

Image of Barbara Ehrenreich

Barbara Ehrenreich is the author of over twenty books, including Nickel & Dimed: Undercover in Low-Wage USA, Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World and Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War. She is a frequent contributor to Time, Harper's, The Progressive, The Nation, the New York Times Magazine and the Guardian, and has also written for The Times and the New Statesman. She lives in Charlottesville, Virginia. More about the author


‘[This book] provides not just a vivid subjective account of an intense spiritual experience but an insight into this complex and intriguing woman and writer’ Maureen Gaffney



‘A fascinating and deeply moving investigation of the role of everyday spirituality in the author's life’

‘A heartfelt and provocative book’ Andrew Lynch

‘An engrossing portrait of her mystical encounters... I love her writing’

‘Audacious... a winning approach to autobiography’ Peter Carty

‘Compelling as well as instructive’ Marcus Tanner

‘Disturbing and profound in equal measure’

‘Ehrenreich is incapable of penning a dull sentence. [This] is a fascinating memoir about rationality and mysticism’

‘Ehrenreich is such an exhilarating writer... Intelligent and thoughtful, [this] is a brave and fascinating reply to her teenage self. A fascinating spiritual odyssey, rigorously honest and deeply moving’ Christopher Hart

‘Ehrenreich writes like a dream, elegantly carrying her reader with her’

‘Ehrenreich writes like a dream... [She] has produced a minor miracle: a book about moments of transcendence that many have experienced but most have privately filed away’ Peter Stanford

‘Fascinating’ Marcus Tanner ‘Book of the year’

‘Her conclusion satisfies both her secular self and her sense of wonder... Intriguing’ Iain Finlayson

‘Intensely engrossing... Ehrenreich returns with vigor to her youthful request... Wise and tolerant’

‘Moving and intellectually stimulating’ Lesley McDowell

‘Pleasantly prickly reading’

‘Tart, cynical, intelligent’

‘The poet Robert Browning warned us that just when we are safest a friend's death or a sudden line of verse can start old questions reeling in our minds again. Be warned: this book will have the same effect, so don't read it if you don't want all your safe conclusions about the meaning of life shaken and stirred’ Richard Holloway

‘Vivid... a profound reflection on science, religion and the human condition’

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