The sound of a wild snail eating / Elisabeth Tova Bailey.

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      1st ed.
    • ISBN:
      9781565126060 : HRD
      1565126068 : HRD
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      BAILEY, E. T. The sound of a wild snail eating. 1st ed. [s. l.]: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2010. ISBN 9781565126060. Disponível em: Acesso em: 30 set. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Bailey ET. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. 1st ed. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; 2010. Accessed September 30, 2020.
    • APA:
      Bailey, E. T. (2010). The sound of a wild snail eating (1st ed.). Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Bailey, Elisabeth Tova. 2010. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. 1st ed. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
    • Harvard:
      Bailey, E. T. (2010) The sound of a wild snail eating. 1st ed. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. Available at: (Accessed: 30 September 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Bailey, ET 2010, The sound of a wild snail eating, 1st ed., Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, viewed 30 September 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Bailey, Elisabeth Tova. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. 1st ed., Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2010. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Bailey, Elisabeth Tova. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating. 1st ed. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2010.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Bailey ET. The sound of a wild snail eating [Internet]. 1st ed. Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill; 2010 [cited 2020 Sep 30]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2010 October #2

*Starred Review* At age 34, Bailey was stricken with a mysterious virus while on a trip to Europe. Her healthy life had been full of activity, and now just the thought of getting up to get something was exhaustive. When a friend found some violets and brought her one in a pot, she also added a live snail below the violet's leaves. Bailey wondered why she needed a snail, but after square holes began to appear in a letter propped on the violet's pot, it occurred to Bailey that the snail needed food. She put a withered flower in the saucer below, and when the snail began to eat, Bailey realized that she could hear it eating—it was the sound of someone very small munching on celery. Soon the author realized she was attached, the snail providing an oasis of calm for her frantic and frustrated thoughts. She worried that the snail's world was too artificial, so her caregiver created a woodland terrarium. Not only did the snail have a new home but Bailey had a new game: hide-and-seek with a snail. She began to read about snails, learning from scientists, early naturalists, poets, and writers, and found herself beginning to understand a snail's world. And when her snail began to lay eggs, Bailey discovered that she might be the first person to record observations of a snail tending its eggs. This beautiful little book will not only make snail lovers of its readers, it will make them appreciate the small things in life. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2010 August #1

Bailey, writer and artist, suddenly contracted a mysterious disease 15 years ago. In place of the strong, active, vibrant individual she had been, Bailey found herself forced by the physical constraints of the disease to move from her home in the New England countryside into a small efficiency apartment, and for several more she was confined to bed, too weak to move. To cheer her up, a friend presented her with a gift of wild forest violets accompanied by a forest snail found in the woods. Bailey quickly developed a passion for the little creature in the pot, and later terrarium, next to her and daily spent hours closely observing its life in minute detail. The fascination deepened as she recovered some of her health and was able to dig into the scientific research on snails. This work captures Bailey's frustration and puzzlement with the challenge of her unknown physical disease without the reader's noticing—the focus is on the snail. As noted in the epilog, seven years after the ailment began, the final diagnosis was determined: mitochondrial disease. VERDICT A small, short book filled with an enormous amount of natural history and science about snails; also, an acknowledgment of an individual's determination to recover and regain life with humor and insight. Highly recommended.—Michael D. Cramer, Schwarz BioSciences, RTP, NC

[Page 104]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

LJ BookSmack

Wait, did you say a wild snail? As opposed to domestic? Well, I'm intrigued. In this memoir, the author is struck down by a mysterious illness that leaves her bedridden. She comes to describe her own body as "a bizarre and bewildering place," a phrase that describes my morning routine. When a visiting pal brings her a snail-actually hands it to her-she's baffled. A snail? WTF? She puts it in a nearby violet and scarcely notices it for the next few days until she finds "a mysterious square hole just below the return address" in an envelope propped against the plant. Poet Bailey chooses her words with care and writes "quietly," noticing for example "[t]he tiny, intimate sound of the snail's eating," the "distinct feeling of companionship and shared space" or "the comforting sound of the snail's miniscule munching." What did humble little Mr. Snail do? Not much (he's a snail), but he became the perfect pet, perfectly fitting into a world reduced to a bed and a room. Described as graceful, ponderous, adventurous, fearless, tireless (but not named, oddly), he "reminded [her] that [she] wasn't alone."-Douglas Lord, "Books for Dudes," BookSmack! 7/1/10 Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

LJ Reviews Newsletter

Imagine quiet broken by a snail eating. With autoimmune dysautonomia and chronic fatigue syndrome resulting from mitochondrial disease, Bailey has involuntarily spent over 20 years coping with restricted movement. This intimate account of her snail-like life challenges readers to seek calm in their own lives. (LJ8/10) (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.