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We talk to Dara McAnulty, author of Wainwright Prize 2020 shortlisted book Diary of a Young Naturalist, about the inspiration behind his writing and his call to action for us all.

Our guest:

Dara McAnulty author photograph

Dara McAnulty is a young star of the conservation movement, and Diary of a Young Naturalist – assured, mature and sensitive – is sure to break the mould of modern “nature writing” and cause a media stir. Already lined up for many major media and festival appearances, and with much interest from publications all around the world, the book is already set to be the break-out title of 2020.

DOAYN FINAL JACKET 9.4.20 Final resized

Diary of a Young Naturalist chronicles the turning of 15-year-old Dara McAnulty’s world. From spring and through a year in his home patch in Northern Ireland, Dara spent the seasons writing. These vivid, evocative and moving diary entries about his connection to wildlife and the way he sees the world are raw in their telling.

Diary of a Young Naturalist portrays Dara’s intense connection to the natural world alongside his perspective as a teenager juggling exams and friendships with a life of campaigning. “In writing this book,” Dara explains, “I have experienced challenges but also felt incredible joy, wonder, curiosity and excitement. In sharing this journey my hope is that people of all generations will not only understand autism a little more but also appreciate a child’s eye view on our delicate and changing biosphere.”

Read an extract of Diary of a Young Naturalist on the Wainwright Prize website here

See all the shortlisted books here

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