Nature Writing and writers of colour

As someone who loves nature, the advent in recent years in nature writing has been very exciting. When I cannot be out there myself, I do quite like to enjoy the hearing the experiences of some accomplished writers in the field.

I have followed publishing long enough to know that these kind of fields (pun?) are normally mostly dominated by male writers and some serious effort has to be put in to find more female authors once you ticked off the well known ones like Helen Macdonald and Kathleen Jamie. There is a list on Goodreads for Irish and British Nature Writing and of the 175 books, only about 20 are by women and some of these books are over 100 years old (Hello old friend, “Diary of an Edwardian Lady”). So things are not that great, but I guess that’s a pretty normal picture across publishing, after all more men get published than women.

But then, I thought: Hm, I really would like to find some writers of colour who write nature non-fiction. And so my search began. And I came up with not much. Found a couple of essays, some US based books but personally, I prefer my nature writing to be set in places I know or are about to visit. And that made me wonder why that is? Are there writers of colour with manuscripts waiting to be published, but because there has been no precedence no one is publishing them?

I would love to see some British and Irish nature writing by authors of colour. If you know of anything that has been published or is about to be published, please let me know.

Author: Melanie

I read, I eat (and cook) and I like to go places.

4 thoughts on “Nature Writing and writers of colour”

    1. Thank you Neil (are you the Neil of the Last Wilderness? If so, I adored your book so much, if not: cool name). This does definitely sound like a step in the right direction.

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      1. Yes, that’s me, Melanie, thank you for your support of my book. I agree wholeheartedly that there needs to be more diversification within the genre. Women have begun to storm the barricades in the past few years, and created some of the best new nature writing around, but it still remains very white, and, dare I say it, decidedly upper middle class.

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      2. Oh wow, thank you so much for commenting on my blog. And yes, access to nature in general seems to be a middle class activity, it is weird as I grew up below working class but we were outside all the time, strange how time can change in just 40 years.

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