Living in Chattanooga, I can just hear my friends say, “What about the South?” You have described the works of one northern writer after another. Don’t we have nature writers here too? What about nature close to home?
So now the authors David George Haskell, Bradford Torey, and Robert Sparks Walker enter the scene. Haskell is alive and writing today, and the other two are from relatively recent history.
Haskell was born in England and educated at Cambridge. He came to America early on and has served as a professor at the University of the South in Sewanee. His most recent title, The Songs of Trees spans world wide travel and has received the 2018 John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Burroughs_Medal). In his earlier, Pulitzer Prize nominated book, The Forest Unseen, he describes the events of the natural world throughout the calendar year as they unfold on a square meter of land in a forested area owned by the University of the South.
From snails to lichen to horsehair worms, Haskell investigated the small world in an area he called the Mandala. He compared his work to the sand paintings of Tibetan monks in an introduction which promises much from a book which delivers even more. With the meticulous mind of a scientist and the eye of a poet, Haskell is the perfect nature writer for the twenty-first century.