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Macfarlane wins nature writing prize for ‘Underland’

In the UK, Robert Macfarlane has been awarded the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize for his eighth book Underland (Hamish Hamilton).

Judges called Underland ‘a passionate book which celebrates the natural world in a way that will enthuse and delight nature lovers and book lovers alike’, as well as a ‘unique plea that demonstrates the urgent need for us all to lessen the impact of human life on the natural world’.

Chair of judges Julia Bradbury commented: ‘Robert has been shortlisted for the prize four times now, so, it feels right that this book, which we all considered to be his best book, has finally won. He writes in a beautiful, lyrical style and this book is a claustrophobic thriller of sorts. He takes his subject, and excavates it comprehensively.’

The award, worth £5000 (A$8920), celebrates the best books about nature, travel and the outdoors.

Underland was chosen from a shortlist of seven, which included Isabella Tree’s Wilding (Picador), Luke Turner’s Out of the Woods (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), Julia Blackburn’s Time Song (Vintage), Mark Cocker’s Our Place (Vintage), Kate Humble’s Thinking On My Feet (Octopus) and Juliet Blaxland’s The Easternmost House (Sandstone Press).

In addition to the £5000 prize money, Macfarlane receives a keg of Wainwright Golden Beer, and a full set of the latest Wainwright pictorial walking guides.

For more information, see the award website.



Category: Awards International news