Google full text of our books:


The Mushroom at the End of the World:
On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins
Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Winner of the 2016 Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing, Society for Humanistic Anthropology
Winner of the 2016 Gregory Bateson Prize, The Society for Cultural Anthropology
Finalist for the 2016 Northern California Book Awards in General Nonfiction, Northern California Book Reviewers
One of Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 in Business and Economics
One of Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Books of 2015 in Science
One of Flavorwire’s 10 Best Books by Academic Publishers in 2015
One of Times Higher Education’s Best Books of 2015

Paperback | September 2017 | $19.95 | £14.95 | ISBN: 9780691178325
352 pp. | 6 1/8 x 9 1/4 | 29 b/w illus.
Hardcover | 2015 | $29.95 | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780691162751
352 pp. | 6 x 9 | 29 halftones.
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400873548 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Chapter 1[PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:

Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world—and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made?

A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction.

By investigating one of the world's most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Niels Bohr Professor at Aarhus University in Denmark, where she codirects Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA). She is the author of Friction and In the Realm of the Diamond Queen (both Princeton).


"An unusually rewarding meditation on how a wild mushroom can help us see the world's ruined condition after the advent of modern capitalism. . . . Bursting with ideas and observations, Tsing's highly original ethnographic study follows this spicy-smelling mushroom's global commodity chain, from the forests of Oregon's Cascade Mountains and elsewhere to Tokyo auction markets. She recounts her interviews with mushroom pickers, scientists, and entrepreneurs in the United States, Asia, and elsewhere to explore the matsutake's commerce and ecology. . . . Consistently fascinating, her story of the picking and selling of this wild mushroom becomes a wonderful window on contemporary life."--Kirkus, starred review

"Tsing weaves an adventurous tale about the diverse forms of ‘collaborative survival' that living beings--both human and non-human--negotiate despite the ‘capitalist damage' of our times. . . . Her engrossing account of intersecting cultures and nature's resilience offers a fresh perspective on modernity and progress."--Publishers Weekly

"A well-researched and thought-provoking meditation on capitalism, resilience, and survival."--E. CE Miller,

"[Tsing] has written a beautiful, humble book about the human interface with the Northern Hemisphere's forest ecosystems, delving into everything from produce auction markets to guerilla warfare. . . . [The] Mushroom at the End of the World is an example of anthropology at its best: highly accessible, yet challenging to our sense of self."--Darwin Bond Graham, East Bay Express

More reviews

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing:

Subject Areas:

Shopping Cart:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Amazon Kindle Store
  • Apple iBooks
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Kobo eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback : $19.95 ISBN: 9780691178325

    Add to shopping cart

     Hardcover : $29.95 ISBN: 9780691162751

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Hardcover  £24.95 ISBN: 9780691162751

    Add to shopping cart

     Paperback  £14.95 ISBN: 9780691178325

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 3/20/2017

    Questions and comments to:
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Asian And Asian American Studies
    More Choices