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A Branch from the Lightning Tree


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About the Author

Martin Shaw is a mythologist, storyteller, and wilderness rites-of-passage guide based in Devonshire, England. Shaw gave up a lucrative music contract to pursue the study of myth while living for four years in a tent in the wilderness of Wales. An international teacher, he tours the United States and Canada annually and is visiting lecturer on Archbishop Desmond Tutu's Leadership program at Oxford University.


A true master. Martin Shaw is one of the very greatest storytellers we have. Shaw presides over an astonishing flow of language. His prose reaches up into the high old areas Joseph Campbell used to do his arm wrestling in, and many of Shaw's leaps are absolutely superb. He is talking about experiencing ancient myths in a new way and he does it elegantly. He encourages the teeth of professors to fall out and the teeth of the young to grow. Robert Bly, author of Iron John and winner of the National Book AwardEloquent and elegant, Shaw offers an irresistible invitation to 'dive down the rabbit hole' into realms that hold the wisdom of, not only survival, but expanding into one's sense of purpose, maturing into the gift of service to the collective. Malidoma P. Some, teacher and author of Ritual: Power, Healing & CommunityThis is an astonishing book - part memoir, part retelling of old tales, and part courageous delving into the psyche's trek from the "civilized" out into the "wild." Shaw's inspired writing and, as he says, "wild thinking," come from both inner and outer experiences, from the wealth and daring that a wilderness teacher and storyteller must have. When I finished reading it, I felt I had been given a gift. Gioia Timpanelli, storyteller and Women's National Book Association Award winning author of What Makes A Child LuckyShaw is a writer of rare and fierce beauty, and a great enemy of mediocrity, wherever it may hide. A Branch From the Lightning Tree is an oceanic dive into the mythic fire-on myths own terms. The whole book conjures a tale of who we are and where we might be going. Daniel Deardorff, author of The Other Within: The Genius of Deformity in Myth, Culture, and PsycheThis is visceral and imaginative writing. Shaw creates links between the wildness in language and landscape, myth being a bridge between the two. As a book it both nourishes and inspires, superbly placing story in the centre of the challenges of ecology, leadership and climate change. He writes with a poetic flair that gives the book mystery, fire and purpose. This needs to be read! Rosie Boycott, author, former editor of The Independent and Chair of the 2008 Samuel Johnson award for nonfictionShaw has so much knowledge and wisdom about the old stories it emanates from his pores. He knows about the mythic trap of 'eternal youth' that is the shadow of rock'n'roll. He knows why Jim Morrison went down. His prose is voracious -- it will gobble up the reader's psyche and challenge it to change. John Densmore, essayist, best selling author, and founding member of The Doors.

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