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Granta 102: The New Nature Writing Paperback – 7 Jul 2008

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Publications Ltd (7 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1905881029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1905881024
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A collection that strives to strip back the romanticism with which we typically understand nature'
-- Metro

'A peculiarly bittersweet modern literature' -- Observer

'An elegant collection of essays, memoirs, poems and graphic fiction' -- Telegraph

'Granta has harvested contributions from many of the most influential of the new naturalists'
-- Independent

`A sense of urgency pervades these evocative essays, stories and photographs' -- Independent on Sunday

Review

'A peculiarly bittersweet modern literature'

See all Product Description

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By Jim VINE VOICE on 27 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Granta's transformation under outgoing editor, Jason Cowley, seems complete with this latest, highly impressive edition. While the title - `New Nature Writing' - at times seems a little grandiose, the issue does make one reconsider what nature writing actually is and what it says about our world. This is no collection of David Attenborough/ Ray Mears excerpts. Rather it is a thoughtful anthology of how man interacts with the natural world.

Indeed, this is writing of the highest order. In any magazine, Granta included, there is usually some weak link or other, but here I found myself warming to every article. Highlights included Edward Platt's moving account of bird migrations over Israel and its occupied territories; Paul Farley and Niall Griffiths on life in Liverpool's peripheral new towns and Matthew Power on squatting in the Bronx. Richard Mabey on Yew trees sounds utterly obscure, but was as fascinating and expository a piece of writing as I will read all year. To me, these were all new names, but Granta has, for the first time in a while, done what it does best: introduce such writers to a wider audience. As an avowed Granta fan, my only hope is that incoming editor, Alex Clark, maintains such high standards.
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Format: Paperback
Jason Cowley's introduction to what appeared a promising volume proved to be one of the most jejune and depressingly ignorant things I have ever read in Granta. He seems to be acquainted with three books in the whole vast subject area with which he deals - and none of them is from the gloriously rich tradition of British nature, outdoor and rural writing, the exponents of which he caricatures in the most glib and offensive manner. As to the commissioned pieces, for the most part they come across as just that - not much effort, plenty of ego, plenty of showy literary flourish. Don't waste your money on this - it's a return to Granta's habitually dismal and overweening form. Buy some Hudson or Jefferies or Massingham or Williamson or Nan Shepherd or George Sturt or Edward Thomas or Richard Mabey or Tim Robinson or David Thomson or George Ewart Evans or Tom Fort or The Seasons or The Compleat Angler or The Natural History of Selborne instead. Reading any or all of those will make you a whole lot more knowledgeable around the subject than the editor of this lost opportunity for a timely statement on a crucial topic.
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Granta is THE British literary magazine. It's not always comfortable reading, but it is always worth the effort.
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