Journey of Discovery

Ruth Finnegan Author Interview

Ruth Finnegan Author Interview

Grass Miracle from the Earth is a well informed and interesting book about grass. What intrigued you about this project?

Well I was just so astounded that something so humble and unnoticede had all these qualities! I kept finding more and more and more (the ‘miracle’ in the title cropped up pretty soon) – and then just couldn’t stop!

Actually having finished it I see it’s pretty typical of my work as an anthropologist: to look deep into the ordinary – whatever, wherever – and find the extraordinary and the magical. So mine, I feel, is really a pretty good calling and one that suits me ( and my family inheritance) exactly.

You are the editor along with Maria Teresa Agozzino and author David Campbell Callender. What was the collaboration like on this book?

I have, er, to confess that I wrote the book myself, well almost all of it – Maria, the meticulous and inspired Welsh Mabli, whom I found by enormous good luck, corrected my mistakes and omissions and added some super fokloric and other bits as well as some great pictures of her gorgeous cats making the most of her grass. It’s been a wonderfully happy collaboration with multiple emails flying back and forward each day at crucial points. No, we have never actually met (except in mind) but will CERTAINLY continue to collaborate – soon it’ll be on the history of horses (an amazing adventure that ) then, we hope, on birds, magic of the sky and trees.

But otherwise, yes , I have to confess I basically thought of, and wrote it, a miraculous ( yes) journey of discovery. ‘Ruth Finnegan’ is known for rather different kinds of publications, so that was one reason I used a penname. But chiefly it was to remember and honour my inspired and gentle and modest maternal grandfather from Derry, my native city, himself a naturalist.

Starting this book I certainly didn’t think grass could so fascinating. Was there anything new you learned about grass when working on this book?

YES, EVERYTHING! I had no idea. Basically that, mostly forgotten, it’s just – THERE! And there all the time almost whatever you do to it. But honest, there’s just far far too much to even begin on, you’ll just have to read the book!

You can easily find the paperback at and the Kindle.

What is the next project you plan to work on and when will it be available?

I have two nearly finished academic books (one on ‘The shared mind’ – ESP and all that, a highly p topical subject – one on taxidruvers’ lives, again the extraordinary in the seemingly ordinary and though, like grass, near ubiquitous so often unnoticed and unesteemed. Also a couple of ( dream-inspired) novels and experimenting with a few filmscriots (hopefully some at least will appear this year, not certain: why aren’t there more hours in the day …). Chiefly I am working as general commissioning editor on what I think an exceedingly important and innovative series of books for young adults (‘Grass … ‘ is one example, my recent ‘Time for the world to learn from Africa’ another), you can see more on this at with LOTS more super titles to come during 2020.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

Grass Miracle from the Earth (Hearing Others’ Voices) by [Campbell Callender, David]

We see grass everyday, tread on it, maybe handle, smell, or plant it.But how many of us noticed it – let alone appreciated its amazing presence and resilience and the way it someway holds our planet together? It’s everywhere.

This beautifully illustrated book, engaging and readable, gives us the full,picture. It tells of the marvellously complex evolution of grass, the incredible number of species (did you know that bamboo and sugar-cane are forms of grass, and that three kinds of grass make up the major food of humans and the grazing (‘grass’-eating) of innumerable animals?), leading us on into some appreciation of the abiding necessity of grass for humanity, for nature and for the arts. It has a place in folklore too, and in poetry

A book to give and to treasure.

David Campbell Callender, a name taken (adapted) from, and in memory of, her gifted Irish grandfather, is the penname of the British anthropologist Ruth Finnegan.

Buy Now From B&

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on February 8, 2020, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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