James Rebanks is an English sheep farmer and author, from Matterdale in Cumbria. His first book was ‘The Shepherd’s Life’, published in 2015. His book ‘English Pastoral’ is about what it means to have love and pride in a place, and how, against all the odds, it may still be possible to build a new pastoral, which is not a utopia, but a decent place for us all.
Meanwhile, Merlin Sheldrake is a biologist and a writer with a background in plant sciences, microbiology, ecology, and the history and philosophy of science. ‘Entangled Life’ is a mind-altering journey into a spectacular and neglected world, and shows that fungi provide a key to understanding both the planet on which we live and life itself.
It was in June that the longlist for the Wainwright Prizes was announced. It featured ‘Vesper Flights’ by Helen Macdonald, ‘The Wild Silence’ by Raynor Winn, and Anita Sethi’s ‘I Belong Here’, among others.
For the uninformed, the Wainwright Prizes was created in Alfred Wainwright’s (British fellwalker, guidebook author, and illustrator) name to showcase the growing genre of nature-writing in publishing and to celebrate and encourage exploration of the outdoors to all readers. It was initially conceived in 2013 by Frances Lincoln, publishers of Alfred Wainwright’s guides. The prize is supported by Frances Lincoln, publisher of the Wainwright Guides, the Wainwright Estate, and in partnership with the National Trust. A £5,000 prize fund is shared and presented to the authors of the two winning books.
Pic credit: Wainwright Prize/Official Twitter Handle