On Nature

Great Writers on the Great Outdoors

The evocative essays in On Nature comprise a wide range of experiences and adventures. In “Against Nature,” Joyce Carol Oates explains why writers generally resist nature as a topic, and at the same time comments on her place in the surrounding world. Diane Ackerman swims with a right whale and her calf in “The Moon by Whale Light,” and sees how the whales treat her with the same respect with which she treats them. In “Pieces of the Frame,” John McPhee explores the mystery of the Loch Ness monster and the people who obsess over it. Sherry Simpson looks at the conflict-riddled business of trapping and killing Alaskan wolves, sympathizing with both the trapper and the wolves. On Nature also includes essays by such renowned voices as Mark Doty, Bill Bryson, Barry Lopez, and Vaclav Havel, all of whom share their poignant, intimate connections to the natural world.