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Writing Natural History is the edited record of four public dialogues held at the University of Utah in 1988 between eminent writers in the fields of natural history. In these interchanges the writers discussed their traditions, perspectives, values, purposes, techniques, and personal insights. Their conversations, like their work, link the sciences with the humanities in surprising ways, enhancing our understanding and appreciation of both. This volume maintains the vitality of the spoken dialogues and conveys a lively sense of each speaker’s concern with the processes of the natural world and our human position in it.
Half of the authors began as professionals in the natural sciences before becoming recognized for their literary skills; the other half are established writers whose works reflect their vital human affinity with and respect for nature. Writing Natural History will appeal to all readers involved in conservation, nature study, creative writing, environmental issues, the natural sciences, the outdoors, and the ecological politics of Earth.
Authors dialogues feature Barry Lopez and Edward O. Wilson, Robert Finch and Terry Tempest Williams, Gary Paul Nabhan and Ann Zwinger, Paul Brooks and Edward Lueders.
Introduction: The Continuities of Nature Writing - Thomas J. Lyon
Dialogue 1: Ecology and the Human Imagination - Barry Lopez and E.O. Wilson
Dialogue 2: Landscape, People, and Place - Robert Finch and Terry Tempest Williams
Dialogue 3: Field Notes and the Literary Process - Gary Paul Nabhan and Ann Zwinger
Dialogue 4: Natural History as Literature - Paul Brooks and Edward Lueders
Further Readings From the Authors