The Nature of Autumn longlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2017

Posted on June 2, 2017

The Nature of Autumn, by renowned nature writer Jim Crumley, has been selected on the longlist for the prestigious 2017 Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize for UK nature and travel writing.

The book tells the compelling story of unfolding autumn, perhaps the most enigmatic of the four seasons and a time for reflection. Jim – who describes himself as “a child of autumn” – charts the colourful progression from September to November, embarking on a series of wild walks and explorations of his beloved countryside.

Along the way he experiences the red deer rut, finds phenomenal redwood trees and is serenaded by swans. And he finds himself inspired by Robert Burns – and imagines how the great poet came up with his beautiful verse To a Mouse.

But for Jim, the autumn of 2015 was unlike any other – it marked the 40th anniversary of his father’s death, thus imbuing this particular autumn with deeper meaning, which he effortlessly captures in lyrical prose.

“It is my preferred season of the year,” Jim says, “my preferred portion of nature’s scheme of things, nature’s state of grace. Because autumn, in my mind, is a tapped kaleidoscope, a shifting sorcery of shapes and shades, a revitalising of the wild year after the too-long dirge of late summer, a maker of daring moods.”

The shortlist for the £5,000 Wainwright Prize will be made public on June 27 and the winner announced on August 3. Jim Crumley’s next book, The Nature of Winter, will be published in September 2017.