A grieving widow feeling disconnected from life discovers a most unexpected obsession--hunting for mushrooms--in a story of healing and purpose.
Long Litt Woon moved to Norway from Malaysia as a nineteen-year-old exchange student. Soon after her arrival, she met Eiolf. He became the love of her life. After thirty-two years together, Eiolf's sudden death left Woon struggling to imagine a life without the man who had been soulmate and best friend. Adrift in her grief, Woon signs up for a beginner's course on mushrooming. She finds, to her surprise, that the hunt for mushrooms and mushroom knowledge rekindles her appetite for life, awakens her dulled senses, and provides a source of joy and meaning.
The Way Through the Woods tells the story of two parallel journeys: an inner one, through the landscape of mourning, and an outer one, into the fascinating realm of mushrooms--resilient, adaptable, dizzyingly diverse, and essential to nature's cycles of death and rebirth. An anthropologist and certified mushroom expert, Woon brings a fresh eye and boundless curiosity to the natural world and takes readers from primordial Norwegian forests to hidden-in-plain-sight Central Park pathways. She also introduces a lovable and eccentric cast of mushroom obsessives. Her explorations of the connections between humans, nature, grief, and healing are universal.
Long Litt Woon is a Malaysian-born Norwegian social anthropologist and certified mushroom expert. Long worked for the Ministry of Development Aid and the European Commission and served as Director of Norway's National Center for Gender Equality from 2003 to 2005. When she's not tracking down rare fungi across the globe, she continues to work as a management consultant, helping government organizations and private businesses improve diversity and gender equality.