Possum Living: How to Live Well Without a Job and With (Almost) No Money
“A back-to-the-land classic” (Garden & Gun) that will “inspire you to embrace a simpler life” (O, The Oprah Magazine).
In the late seventies, at the age of eighteen and with a seventh-grade education, Dolly Freed wrote Possum Living about the five years she and her father lived off the land on a half-acre lot outside of Philadelphia. At the time of its publication in 1978, Possum Living became an instant classic, known for its plucky narration and no-nonsense practical advice on how to quit the rat race and live frugally. In her delightful, straightforward, and irreverent style, Freed guides readers on how to buy and maintain a home, raise and grow their own food, cope with the law, stay healthy, save money, and more, all in the name of self-reliant, independent living.
Forty years later, Possum Living remains an essential guide to going off the grid. This updated edition includes an introduction by Novella Carpenter, and new wisdom from Freed on aging, used cars, emergency funds, and how to get back in touch with yourself. Possum Living, says Freed, is about how to cook; to go fishing; to be with family, friends, and neighbors; to forage for wild berries; to enjoy a hobby; to relax; or, even better, to do nothing at all. Some of the best living, she reminds us, happens in possum time.
“[T]his book will not only make you laugh but might actually inspire you to embrace a simpler life.”
—O , The Oprah Magazine
“Compulsively readable . . . [T]his strange , engaging hymn to the laid-back life now, in 2010, one message comes out loud and clear. As the 18-year-old sage Dolly Freed wrote: ‘I refuse to spend the first 60 years of my life worrying about the last 20.’”
—The New York Times Art Beat
“An elegant memoir.”
—Philadelphia City Paper
“Dolly Freed is my hero . . . [If] this smart , engaging , funny, and frank manifesto . . . doesn’t make you want to quit the rat race at least a little bit, then you must be one big, fat rat.”
“Dolly is a sharp writer , an autodidact and an 18-year-old of unusual competence and grit . . . [T]here’s nothing precious about Possum Living: it’s genuine in a way few books are.”
“Possum Living, a manifesto for living cheaply . . . is a relevant and sassy manual for the nonconsumer lifestyle.”
“A paean to self-sufficiency.”
—Columbia Journalism Review