Reconnecting with the Non-human World: Loss and Uncertainty in Esther Woolfson’s Field Notes from a Hidden City: An Urban Nature Diary

Laura Suchostawska

University of Wrocław, Poland

Laura Suchostawska is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wrocław, the Institute of English Studies. She holds a PhD in linguistics as well as a master’s degree in English studies and in Spanish studies. Her research interests include nature writing, ecocriticism, ecolinguistics, and metaphor. She is the author of the books Space and Metaphor (2005), Approaching Nature through Metaphors in Thoreau’s Writings (2020), Relaciones entre el cristianismo y las creencias indígenas en las obras de José María Arguedas (2020), and she co-edited the book Eating America: Crisis, Sustenance, Sustainability (2015).


https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8884-8107



Abstract

The article focuses on the issue of reconnecting with the non-human world of animals and plants that can be encountered in the city, as presented in Esther Woolfson’s book Field Notes from a Hidden City: An Urban Nature Diary. Even though it deals with an urban environment, the book can be treated as an instance of nature writing, more specifically British new nature writing. By focusing on non-human beings living in the city, Woolfson makes them more salient in the readers’ minds, demonstrating that direct contact with nature is not limited to the wilderness or the countryside and is accessible to anyone, regardless of where they live. At the same time, her diary reveals underlying sorrow connected with the gradual loss of species, populations, habitats, and familiar weather patterns, as well as uncertainty as to what can and should be done to protect the environment and the living beings that inhabit it.


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Published
2024-06-06


Suchostawska, L. (2024) “Reconnecting with the Non-human World: Loss and Uncertainty in Esther Woolfson’s Field Notes from a Hidden City: An Urban Nature Diary”, Crossroads. A Journal of English Studies, (44), pp. 39–52. Available at: https://czasopisma.filologia.uwb.edu.pl/index.php/c/article/view/2254 (Accessed: 16 July 2024).

Laura Suchostawska 
University of Wrocław, Poland

Laura Suchostawska is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wrocław, the Institute of English Studies. She holds a PhD in linguistics as well as a master’s degree in English studies and in Spanish studies. Her research interests include nature writing, ecocriticism, ecolinguistics, and metaphor. She is the author of the books Space and Metaphor (2005), Approaching Nature through Metaphors in Thoreau’s Writings (2020), Relaciones entre el cristianismo y las creencias indígenas en las obras de José María Arguedas (2020), and she co-edited the book Eating America: Crisis, Sustenance, Sustainability (2015).

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8884-8107