Saturday, August 31, 2019

“Moving and unexpectedly funny . . . Long tells the story of finding hope after despair lightly and artfully, with self-effacement and so much gentle good nature that we forgot how sad she (and we) are. . . . Seeing Long’s capacity for wonder and even contentment in the midst of her sadness feels like seeing tiny shoots of grass peeking from the ash in a landscape stripped bare by fire. Her memoir . . . intersperses the story of her mushroom education with details of her emotional journey, each informing the other. She is a fine anthropologist of both. . . . At its center, this book poses a familiar, awful existential question. How do you go on living when the person you loved so much—perhaps the person you loved best in the world—is gone? Everyone must find her own answer. Long’s is as good as any.”The New York Times

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

My book has been longlisted (among 6 books) for the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature 2019.

Here is the announcement from my agent, Gina Winje.
Winje Agency
9 hrs
Long Litt Woon 's successful book "The Way Through the Woods: Of Mushrooms and Mourning" is nominated to
The Jan Michalski Prize for Literature: :",a prize attributed each year by the Foundation to crown a work of world literature. An original feature of the Prize is its multicultural nature. It is open to authors from the world over and is intended to contribute to their international recognition. The Prize will be awarded for works of fiction or non fiction, irrespective of the language in which it is written. The winner will receive an amount of CHF 50,000, offering the possibility of greater dedication to her or his art.
To make up the Jury, the Foundation has called on exceptional writers who are multilingual, selected for their knowledge of various literary genres, but particularly for their cultural openness. Congratulations to the nominated authors!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Winje Agency 
Spiegel & Grau, Penguin Randomhouse in US will publish the American edition of “The Way Through the Woods” in July/August 2019.

The editor, Mengfei Chen says:
“From the first sentence, I was struck by Woon’s irresistible voice. She is a natural storyteller, and The Way Through the Woods is a unique and thoroughly fascinating exploration of the connections between nature, grief, and healing. I couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Woon on bringing this gem of a book to the American reader.”
Long Litt Woon’s “The Way Through the Woods” is starting to be launched abroad: First out is Finnish in August, Danish, Dutch and Swedish in September, French in October, Spanish and Catalan in November this autumn. English (UK and US), German, Italian, Japanese and Polish next year. Congratulations and thanks to all dedicated, hardworking and enthusiastic publishers and translators and Woon Long!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

FOREIGN RIGHTS SOLD! My book will soon be translated to twelve languages

My book will soon be translated to twelve languages.  The following publishers have bought rights to my book:

1. German: btb Randomhouse (btb Verlag)
2. Danish: Don Max, Politikens Forlag
3. Italian: Iperborea
4. Dutch: A.W. Bruna Uitgevers
5. Swedish: Bokförlaget Polaris
6. English: Scribe Publications
7. Spanish: Ediciones Maeva
8. French: Gaïa Éditions
9. Catalan: Ara llibres
10. Finnish: Nemo Kustannus (Kustannusosakeyhtiö Nemo)

11. Japan: Misuzu Shobu
12. Poland: Wydawnictwo Literackie

Photo from former Salt Mines, Cracow, Poland

Monday, August 28, 2017

One page about my book

Title: The Way Through the Woods: Of Mushrooms and Mourning

“It felt as if someone had slammed me with a huge sledgehammer…. Just a few hours ago we were a married couple …..Now Eiolf was at the Emergency Ward at Ullevål Hospital. Dead and cold.”

This is a story about a journey that started the day the author’s life fell apart. While in the depths of a life-draining grief, she stumbles upon the wondrous world of mushrooms. In the process, she befriends the Mushroom Pickers, a tribe with their own rites of passage and unspoken rules.  As she sets out on a voyage of discovery into the realm of fungi, she ventures along a parallel journey through an inner landscape of pain and sorrow.

As Long takes the reader through this simultaneously funny and heartbreaking story, her unusual, personal quest soon feels familiar; at its underlying core the story is one of common human experience. We are introduced to mushrooms not only as food or poison, but also their natural history and cultural significance. In the book, the author unveils how the combination of mushrooms and grief triggers fundamental changes in her life by creating new meaning and identity.   

Told in a clear and strong narrative voice, the author’s enthusiasm for mushrooms is particularly charming and is also likely to be contagious.

Long Litt Woon (The surname is Long, born in 1958 in Malaysia) is an Anthropologist and certified Mushroom Expert in Norway. In her youth, she traveled to Norway as an exchange student. There she met and married Eiolf Olsen, a Norwegian, and made Norway her home. Long Litt Woon currently lives in Oslo.

“This is one of the most surprising and original books I have read in a long time – so much to learn and reflect about the human condition and about a natural phenomenon.” 
Knut Olav Åmås (Norwegian critic, commentator and writer)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

#St George's Mushroom #foraging #calocybegambosa #vårfagerhatt #selvberging #sanking

A post shared by Woon Long/Soppdagelse (@soppdagelse) on


Dear Facebook friends, I have written a non-fiction book (currently only in Norwegian) due to be published this autumn. It is about two journeys, an external one to the wondrous Kingdom of Fungi and an internal one in the landscape of grief. I have made a FB-page (in Norwegian) about it and am trying to learn how to create a social media buzz as I go along. All ideas are welcome. Want to get an invite to the launch in Oslo, Norway? Please like and share the link. Stay tuned. Stay cool:)
Estimados amigos de Facebook: mi nuevo libro de ensayos, por ahora solamente en noruego, será publicado en septiembre. El libro trata sobre dos viajes: uno externo al maravilloso Reino de los Hongos y uno interno al sombrío paisaje del duelo. ¿Querés una invitación para el lanzamiento del libro en Oslo, Noruega? Si es así, dale "me gusta" a la página y compartila.
Kjære Facebook-venner! Jeg har skrevet en bok med tittel "Stien tilbake til livet. Om sopp og sorg" som kommer ut til høsten (Vigmostad og Bjørke). For å skape interesse for boken har jeg laget en FB-side om bokens tilblivelse. Læringskurven her blir bratt fordi dette vet jeg ingenting om. Alle gode innspill tas imot med takk. Har du lyst å få en invitasjon til lanseringen? Liking OG deling av siden er en forutsetning:)


Saturday, January 9, 2016

Interesting fungi in Portugal

 Leratiomyces ceres ( previously Stropharia aurantiaca)
Redlead Roundhead

Mørktannet rødspore

Clathrus ruber/Basket Stinkhorm

Lots of excitement when I found the "eggs" (below) right next to the Basket Stinkhorn (above).
Unfortunately, the eggs were from the ordinary Common Stinkhorn.
However, I had the pleasure of tasting the "nuts" from the eggs for the first time. They tasted, well, nutty.

Common stinkhorn eggs (with "nuts" removed and eaten by yours truly)

Do not mistake the Macrolepiota venenata for the M. procera

Looks similar to Macrolepiota procera but is toxic
Grows in clusters, unlike the M. procera (see below).


Corpinopsis lagopus

Some choice edibles found in Portugal

Saffron Milkcap

Pinewood King Bolete

Amethyst ChanterelleAmetystkantarell)

The XX111 Meeeting of the European Conferderation of Mediterranean Mycolody (CEMM)

I was fortunate to attend the meeting at Fornos de Algodres in Portugal (8-13.11.2015), a fest for fungiphiles. The weather prior to the meeting ensured that mushrooms were everywhere we looked ....and did not look.

Here are some highlights:
Tricholoma saponaceum var squamosum (Skjellet såpemusserong)

Rhodocollybia maculata /Spotted collybia (Flekket rotsopp)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Finally, time for brewing the mushroom elixir

Getting there  
 Melt brown and white sugar
Add laurel leaves, spices and anchovies
Add red wine
Finally, add mushroom extract



The deadly Galerina

Galerina Marginata, Deadly
Usually growing on the stumps of Spruce

Not to be confused with the edible Pholiota mutabilis (below)
The P.mutabilis has thin, small hairs below the ring (ring not visible here)

The P.mutabilis grows normally on stumps of desiduous trees

Monday, November 2, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Mushrooming in Dorset, U.K.

Approaching Brownsea Island by boat

Identifiers at the Dorset Fungus Group at work
An old log is the site of many good finds

Amanita phalloides, our most deadly find 

Mushrooming among peahens, certainly a new experience
Meadow waxcap, Hygrocybe pratensis, Engvokssopp
Peahens and Waxcaps in a happy symbiosis 

My first Parrot Waxcap

More Parrot WaxcapsHygrocybe psittacina

A basket of edible mushrooms
Giuseppe from The Olive Tree cooking up a tasty treat 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lactarius deliciosus

Lactarius deliciosus/Furumatriske
Grows in pine forests
Note depressions in the stem

Saffron milkcap/Furumatriske

Compared to False Saffron Milkcap (grows in spruce forests), the Saffron Milkcap is larger and firmer.
The spot-like depressions in the stem of the Saffron Milkcap also differentiate it from its false cousin.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Yellow Stainer

A fairy ring of poisonous Agaricus in the King's Garden, Oslo, Norway
Turns lemony yellow immediately upon bruising.
NB The yellow stain gradually disappears.

Yellow Stainer. Agaricus xanthoderma. Giftsjampinjong.
photos by Jon Strand