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Leaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham's canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart. Her book is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care? Beautifully written, honest and very moving, Hidden Nature is also the story of Alys Fowler's emotional journey: above all, this book is about losing and finding, exploring familiar places and discovering unknown horizons.
Alys Fowler is an award winning journalist and passionate gardener. She is the author of several books and writes a weekly column on gardening for Guardian Weekend magazine. She lives in Birmingham.
""I felt as if I'd paddled into a new country." The gardening author and Guardian columnist with a distinctive memoir in which she forsakes her garden and takes to paddling Birmingham's little-used canal network in an inflatable kayak. The time and space she allows herself for nature observation – kingfishers, waterlilies, pikes, freshwater mussels and blackberries are all beautifully reflected on – is mirrored by her exploration of her internal self, particularly in the light of leaving her marriage and coming out as gay. An enchanting book which somehow manages to be both gutsy and delightfully soothing."
– The Bookseller