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  • Published: 26 November 2020
  • ISBN: 9781473592209
  • Imprint: Ebury Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

Diary of a Young Naturalist

Winner of the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing 2020




The nature book of 2021, from the youngest Wainwright Prize winner in history, the 17-year-old prodigy of the genre and scion of the next generation of nature writing.

WINNER OF BOOK OF THE YEAR, NARRATIVE NON-FICTION BRITISH BOOK AWARDS 2021

Rediscover the natural world with the multi-award winning phenomenon and youngest ever major literary prize winner in UK history.

'Miraculous memoir . . . profoundly moving' Observer

'Dara is an extraordinary voice and vision: brave, poetic, ethical, lyrical' Robert Macfarlane

'It's a diary but essentially timeless . . . It's really, really special' Chris Packham

ALSO WINNER OF: THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE FOR NATURE WRITING 2020, AN POST IRISH BOOK AWARD FOR NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR 2020, BOOKS ARE MY BAG READERS AWARDS FOR NON-FICTION 2020; SHORTLISTED FOR: WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020 & LONGLISTED FOR: THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE 2020
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'This diary chronicles the turning of my world, from spring to winter, at home, in the wild, in my head.'

Evocative, raw and lyrical, this startling debut explores the natural world through the eyes of Dara McAnulty, an autistic teenager coping with the uprooting of home, school, and his mental health, while pursuing his life as a conservationist and environmental activist.

Shifting from intense darkness to light, recalling his sensory encounters in the wild - with blackbirds, whooper swans, red kites, hen harriers, frogs, dandelions, Irish hares and more - McAnulty reveals worlds we have neglected to see, in a stunning world of nature writing that is a future classic.

Diary of a Young Naturalist is a powerful and scintillating portrayal of the beauty of the natural world, as it shines a light on autism and of overcoming severe anxiety. It is a story of the binding love of family and home, and how we can help each other through the most difficult of times.
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BIG ISSUE BOOK OF THE YEAR
HAY FESTIVAL BOOK OF THE YEAR
A TIMES NATURE BOOK OF THE YEAR

'An extraordinary diary' The Times

'A torrent of pure, unmediated fervour . . . This is writing at its wild and unruly best' Dr Rachel Clarke

'Diary of a Young Naturalist is not only one of the finest pieces of modern nature writing produced on this island in recent years, McAnulty is one of our best young writers in any genre' Irish Independent

'An exceptional new voice. Dara McAnulty celebrates nature in such a fresh way and illuminates
our understanding of autism' Martha Kearney, chair of the Baillie Gifford Prize 2020

'One of the most talented and passionate writers of our era' Steve Silberman, award-winning author of NeuroTribes
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  • Published: 26 November 2020
  • ISBN: 9781473592209
  • Imprint: Ebury Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 240

Praise for Diary of a Young Naturalist

Dara's is an extraordinary voice and vision: brave, poetic, ethical, lyrical, strong enough to have made him heard and admired from a young age.

Robert Macfarlane

It's a diary but essentially timeless. It's about enduring, it's about passion, beauty and connection. It's really, really special.

Chris Packham

Dara is only 16 and autistic, and is already on his way to becoming one of the most talented and passionate writers of our era.

Steve Silberman, author of Neurotribes

A beautifully written, profoundly important classic of nature writing that will ignite a passion for the wild in every reader. A stunning achievement. I adored it.

Lauren St John

Feeling illuminates every page of this miraculous memoir ... His portrait of loving parents raising three neurodivergent children on poetry, punk and puffins is profoundly moving ... intimate, sensitive, deeply felt

Alex Preston, Observer

Rich poeticism courses through the writing that belies his years.

Hilary A White, Irish Independent

The fanfare is wholly justified: this is an astonishingly assured book for one so young.

Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller (Non-fiction Book of the Month, June 2020)

Like reading William Blake or Ted Hughes, it really is a strange and magical experience...surely one of the most talked about nature books, or any books, this year

Daily Mail

Minutely detailed observations of birds, insects, trees and weather are woven into an ecstatic description of the unrolling of the seasons. It is also an impassioned and original plea for protection for "our delicate and changing biosphere" ... lovely and remarkable

Charlotte Moore, The Spectator

Breathtaking.

Philip Marsden

McAnulty's writing glows with his deep sympathy for the natural world.

Tim Flannery

An exceptional new voice. Dara McAnulty celebrates nature in such a fresh way and illuminates our understanding of autism.

Martha Kearney

Dara's writing is evocative and poignant, it stirs something deep within you and evokes a desire to do all you can for the natural world which he so beautifully portrays. Our planet and its wildlife are in a dire state, but if anyone can help save them, Dara can - and he's bringing our generation along with him.

Bella Lack

Dara captures the essence of why we all spend time in nature. The excitement, the peace, the solace, the escape from all our problems

Mya-Rose Craig (AKA Birdgirl)

Dara's diary is urgent and compelling: in language as fresh, precise and vivid as his own observations, his is a passionate call to arms - urging us to pay attention to the extraordinary natural world all around us

Caroline Lucas MP

A diary of delight and immediacy . . . Dara McAnulty reminds us that simple joy can actually help save the world

Kathleen Jamie, New Statesman

Beautifully written diaries . . . Dara can teach us all a thing or two about truly glorious descriptive writing

Irish News

His observations are unmatched among his peers . . . listen to what your body and your brain are telling you: thank goodness for Dara

Big Issue

Wise, lyrical and well-researched . . . [Dara's] candid enthusiasm, his powers of observation, his passion for nature - all are being rediscovered by a world population forced to stop short and take stock

The Irish Times

A torrent of pure, unmediated fervour . . . an extraordinarily accomplished work for any writer, let alone one who is still a teenager . . . This is writing at its wild and unruly best

Dr Rachel Clarke, The Lancet

An extraordinary diary . . . it's a powerful pitch for why the school curriculum needs to be wilded and a reminder of the value of neurodiversity in literature

The Times

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