Hodder commissions 'nature almanac for the 21st century'

Hodder commissions 'nature almanac for the 21st century'

Hodder & Stoughton has commissioned Gifts of Gravity and Light: A Nature Almanac for the Twenty-first Century, edited by Pippa Marland and Anita Roy and featuring a foreword from Bernardine Evaristo.

The edition will take readers, season by season, through one year of the natural world, as experienced by those who, for reasons of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, class, upbringing or disability, are not always seen or heard when it comes to nature writing, said the publisher. 

Alongside the editors, contributors will include Kaliane Bradley, Testament, Michael Malay, Tishani Doshi, Jay Griffiths, Luke Turner, Raine Geoghegan, Zakiya Mckenzie, Alys Fowler and Amanda Thomson. 

The synopsis explains: "These writers come to the natural world from a different place to the ‘traditional’ nature writer, so the reader will see the seasons through new eyes, focusing on details that have perhaps previously gone unnoticed, or finding nature in places we’ve not thought to look before. Whether it’s the seashore or an inner-city street corner, the natural world is a part of our daily lives, just as we are all part of nature."

The title of the collection is taken from a poem by the Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage.  

Hodder non-fiction publisher Rupert Lancaster commented: "Nature writing is one of the most popular genres today and yet it is still disproportionately dominated by writers from very similar backgrounds, making it something of a literary monoculture. Anita Roy and Pippa Marland were so positive when I approached them with this idea and are creating something very special. It feels like a book that is needed, so I’m very proud that Hodder is the publisher."

Roy and Marland said: "Gifts of Gravity and Light will explore a year of nature in ways that will challenge and inspire the reader to look again at what is around us. We wanted to include authors who are well known, though not necessarily as nature writers, as well as relatively new voices. All are from diverse backgrounds and we believe will offer fresh perspectives in a genre that often feels predictable in all sorts of ways."

Hodder & Stoughton acquired world rights and will publish Gifts of Gravity and Light in July 2021.