Utne Blogs > Literature

Stories to Save the Planet

by Cally Carswell 


Tags: essay writing, creative nonfiction, nature writing, environment, nature, photo essays, Jason Cowley, Lydia Peelle, Granta,

turtle in a palmCan better stories help repair the broken bonds between people and nature? Granta seems to think so and its latest issue, “The New Nature Writing,” is a collection aimed squarely at that goal.

“The new nature writing,” writer Lydia Peelle told Granta editor Jason Cowley, “rather than being pastoral or descriptive or simply a natural history essay, has got to be couched in stories—whether fiction of non-fiction—where we as humans are present. Not only as observers, but as intrinsic elements.”

Peelle continues, “In my thinking, it is the tradition of the false notion of separation that has caused us so many problems and led to so much environmental degradation. I believe that it is our great challenge in the twenty-first century to remake the connection. I think our lives depend on it.”

Select essays from the issue are available online as well as web-only features including photo essays and interviews with some of the issue’s authors.

Image by Sea Frost, licensed under Creative Commons.