At a time when the future of our planet, environmental issues and green travel are debated more than ever, writing about nature help making people aware. The new special issue of Granta, with contributions from writers who have written extensively on the subject, will be published September 1, 2008.

Granta 102 looks into how we write and think about the natural world:

“The writers collected here are all on some kind of journey of discovery, as the best travel writers were, but at a time when so many of us are concerned about the size of our carbon footprint, they have no need to travel to the other side of the world to understand more about themselves and their relation to the world they inhabit. In this sense, many of the stories in this issue are studies in the local or the parochial: they are about the discovery of exoticism in the familiar, the extraordinary in the ordinary. They are about new ways of seeing. Many of the pieces can also be read as elegies: we know how our world is changing and what is being lost and yet we are powerless to prevent the change.” – Editor’s Letter by Jason Cowley.

The new issue includes:

  • Matthew Power finds respite from the concrete jungle in a garden in the Bronx
  • Benjamin Kunkel remembers his hippy childhood in Colorado
  • Edward Platt reports on the birds that migrate over the Israeli-Palestinian border
  • Paul Farley and Niall Griffiths escape the inner city and revisit the Liverpool estate of their childhoods
  • Kathleen Jamie takes an unusual look at the inner landscape of our bodies
  • Robert Macfarlane and photographer Justin Partyka explore a rural way of life on the brink of disappearing
  • Richard Mabey visits the oldest tree in Europe: the Fortingall Yew
  • Jonathan Raban ponders the mythology of the American West
  • Philip Marsden rediscovers the nineteenth-century nature writer, J T Blight
  • Donovan Wylie photographs the dismantling of the Maze Prison

Plus: Seamus Heaney, Mark Cocker, Anthony Doerr, Jim Holt, David Heatley, Roger Deakin‘s notebooks, poetry by Sean O’Brien, a short story by debut writer Lydia Peelle, and graphic fiction from David Heatley.

For more information, essays, features and interviews, visit Granta’s regularly updated and revamped website at

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