Why Women Grow

Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival

Alice Vincent author

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Canongate Books

Published: 2nd Mar '23

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A stunning meditation on why women are drawn to the soil, featuring contributions from Ali Smith, Hazel Gardiner and Cosey Fanni Tutti


Women have always gardened, but our stories have been buried with our work. Alice Vincent is on a quest to change that. To understand what encourages women to go out, work the soil, plant seeds and nurture them, even when so many other responsibilities sit upon their shoulders. To recover the histories that have been lost among the soil.

Why Women Grow is a much-needed exploration of why women turn to the earth, as gardeners, growers and custodians. This book emerged from a deeply rooted desire to share the stories of women who are silenced and overlooked. In doing so, Alice fosters connections with gardeners that unfurl into a tender exploration of women's lives, their gardens and what the ground has offered them, with conversations spanning creation and loss, celebration and grief, power, protest, identity and renaissance.

Wise, curious and sensitive, Why Women Grow follows Alice in her search for answers, with inquisitive fronds reaching and curling around the intimate anecdotes of others.

A compelling, enriching read. Above all, this is a wonderful tribute to the perseverance and tenacity of women . . . a joy, full of restless curiosity about gardening, life, the longing for meaning, and the simple yet quietly feminist act of creating a space for yourself * * Independent * *
Why Women Grow shows the beauty and grit of tending the soil in difficult times. Alice Vincent shows us that the cure for uncertainty is to get mud under our nails -- KATHERINE MAY, author of WINTERING
A poignant exploration of the relationship between healing and growing, and the power and mystery of nature * * New Statesman * *
Both tender yet fierce, this book is written with an acute sense of women's relationship to the land and how vital that is. I loved it -- RAYNOR WINN, author of THE SALT PATH
Alice Vincent delves into what it is that makes women want to garden, uncovering what drives the urge to sow seeds and nurture plants, and by doing so goes on her own journey of discovery * * Sunday Times * *
A conversational odyssey from a Canary Wharf balcony to Charleston, the Bloomsbury set's hangout, and a windswept smallholding in Denmark. Why Women Grow is the splendid-looking account of these encounters. The narrative unfurls like a vagabond anthology of potted biographies, confessions jostling alongside social commentary . . . If you enjoy window-shopping other people's lives, you'll relish this staggeringly diverse array of individuals. Vincent's affection for her subject is infectious * * Telegraph * *
A beautiful meditation on the overlooked history of female gardeners, tracing how women have drawn strength and power from the natural world * * i * *
Alice's writing is sublime. Gentle yet certain, warm yet fierce. Why Women Grow is an exquisite exploration of our many womanhoods and the reasons why some of us find our steadiness and solace in our relationship to the earth. I adored it -- CLAIRE RATINON, author of UNEARTHED
One of those rare and special books that reminds you why, especially during trying times, you might suddenly find more joy in caring for a plant, or seeing the turn of Spring. Highly recommended! -- EMMA GANNON
Beautifully written * * Independent * *
A glorious, sweet-scented joy of a read, it's the literary equivalent of a stroll through a cornflower meadow on a warm summer's evening * * Buzz Magazine * *
The history of horticulture has often overlooked the contribution made by women, and this book offers a timely antidote * * ELLE Decoration * *
A collection of stories about women, roots, soil, earth and belonging, Vincent's intimate, important new book reminds us that in a world of disconnection, we are designed to feel the opposite. This book is proof that the act of growing new life in the earth can transform us all -- SARAH LANGFORD, author of ROOTED
Reading this is pure poetry -- OLIA HERCULES
Alice Vincent is one of the most beautiful, honest, quietly revolutionary writers I know. This book is utterly exquisite; more full of wisdom and deep nourishment than I have words for. This book is a gift in the most true sense - something offered from the heart - and with feeling. I can't wait to see what comes next -- KERRI NI DOCHARTAIGH, author of THIN PLACES

  • Short-listed for People's Book Prize - Non-fiction 2023 (UK)

ISBN: 9781838855437

Dimensions: 220mm x 144mm x 29mm

Weight: 418g

304 pages