Publication Date: 02/02/2023 ISBN: 9781787333260 Category:


Kapka Kassabova

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication Date: 02/02/2023 ISBN: 9781787333260 Category:




‘Dark and mysterious and beautiful’ Financial Times

Set in the valley of the Mesta, one of the oldest inhabited river valleys in Europe and a nexus for wild plant gatherers, Elixir is an unforgettable exploration of the deep connections between people, plants and place

Over several seasons, Kassabova spends time with the people of this magical region. She meets women and men who work in a long lineage of foragers, healers and mystics. She learns about wild plants and the ancient practice of herbalism, and experiences a symbiotic system where nature and culture have blended for thousands of years. Through her captivating encounters we come to feel the devastating weight of the ecological and cultural disinheritance that the people of this valley have suffered. Yet, in her search for elixir, she also finds reasons for hope. The people of the valley are keepers of a rare knowledge, not only of mountain plants and their properties, but also of how to transform collective suffering into healing.

Immersive and enthralling, at its heart Elixir is a search for a cure to what ails us in the Anthropocene. It is an urgent call to rethink how we live – in relation to one another, to the Earth and to the cosmos.

‘Exceptional’ BBC Wildlife

Publisher Review

In her captivating latest, Kassabova transports us to the Mesta River in her native Bulgaria ... Kassabova finds hope that this ancient knowledge still has the power to heal us. -- Caroline Sanderson * The Bookseller, Editor's Choice * [Kassabova] has an old-fashioned gift for storytelling ... Thoughtful and impressive. * Observer * One of those books that elevates travel writing to art. * Herald, praise for Border * Humanity glitters under her gaze in all its facets. Her prose is spectacularly good and her storytelling is a joy. -- Philip Marsden Extraordinarly haunting. [A] wonderful book. * Sunday Times, praise for To the Lake *

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