Wainwright Shortlist 2019

The books below form the 2019 Wainwright Prize shortlist, not including the winning title Underland. For a list of Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize winning titles please click here.

Each year judges choose the book that they believe best reflects the core values of the well-known Alfred Wainwright, who passed away in 1991.

Wainwright cared enormously about Britain’s countryside, its uplands in particular, an environment with which he had a strong sense of connection and a desire to protect. He is probably most famous for his series of books known as Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells in which he describes, through words and illustrations, the ascents and surroundings of 214 fells in the Lake District National Park.

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Wainwright Shortlist 2019

In The Easternmost House, Juliet Blaxland tells the reader about how she lives on the edge, quite literally. Her home is on the rapidly eroding coastal cliff top of Suffolk. We are taught about the dynamics of nature. The coast, like the seasons, is a zone of constant change, and we learn about Blaxland’ close connection to this part of the natural world.
Our Place by Mark Cocker is a provocative piece of nature writing examining the relationship between Britain’s people and Britain’s land. Cocker explores ideas such as why, despite the people’s affection for the countryside, do we live in an environment stripped of its nature? The book is a sobering look at important issues we and Britain’s natural world face at this time.
In Out of the Woods Luke Turner tells the story of a bisexual man who, after the falling apart of a major relationship in his life, becomes plagued by depression and guilt concerning his sexual identity, past cases of sexual abuse, and his religious upbringing, which caused him much pain and confusion.
Turner battles his demons by turning to the trees of London’s Epping Forest where he seeks peace and comfort.