Terror propels Erica Berry’s exhilarating book ... the intuitive, winding nature of Berry’s approach shouldn’t suggest that this work is unfocused. The wolf wanders a meandering and highly focused path to find food, a mate, a home. No matter where Berry weaves, she sniffs out fascinating insights. And she writes about it in clear, beautiful language.
Berry... elucidates the myths and stories we tell about our lupine fears in ferocious and beautiful writing ... The most powerful theme that runs through Wolfish is human fear, and here Berry's vulnerability and strength is displayed in poignant detail ... Fairy tales, idiomatic expressions, warrior tales all amplified human fear, and led to the systematic extermination of wolves across Britain and Europe. And if Berry is critical of these harmful stories, she also casts a cynical eye at those who claim to love the wolf, over-identifying the animal with their own views of humanity.
Trailblazing withstanding, Wolfish embraces the confines of being a relatively quotidian story ... Normalcy is precisely the point: to shed light on the space between stories and lived realities ... At times, these anecdotes can feel baggy, though they do land as earnest excitement more than performative intellectualism. Her sourcing is also incredibly diverse.