By Robert MacFarlane
About the Author: Robert Macfarlane (1976 – )
British writer Robert Macfarlane is a Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge University who is known for his books on landscape, nature, place, people and language.
His work is compared to that of John Muir, John McPhee, Rebecca Solnit and Annie Dillard.
His first book, MOUNTAINS OF THE MIND (2003), describes the development of Western attitudes to mountains and precipitous landscape, asking why people (himself included) are drawn to mountains despite their dangers.
The book won the Guardian First Book Award, the Somerset Maugham Award and the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. It was shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize.
The book was developed as a film, “Mountain” (2017), which premiered with a live performance of the Australian Chamber Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House. Narrated by Willem Dafoe, it became the highest grossing Australian documentary of all time and won three Australian Academy Awards.
His second book, THE WILD PLACES (2007), describes a series of journeys he made searching for the wildness remaining in Britain and Ireland. It won the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, the Scottish Arts Council Non-Fiction Book of the Year and the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Festival, North America’s equivalent of the Boardman Tasker Prize.
THE OLD WAYS: A JOURNEY ON FOOT (2012) describes the years Macfarlane spent following pilgrimage paths, sea roads, prehistoric trackways and ancient rights of way in southeast England, northwest Scotland, Spain, Sichuan and Palestine.
In 2017, he received the E.M. Forster Award For Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2017.
He is married to Julia Lovell, a professor of modern Chinese history and literature. They have three children.