For readers of George Monbiot, Mark Cocker and Robert Macfarlane – an urgent and lyrical account of endangered places around the globe and the people fighting to save them.
All across the world, irreplaceable habitats are under threat. Unique ecosystems of plants and animals are being destroyed by human intervention. From the tiny to the vast, from marshland to meadow, and from Kent to Glasgow to India to America, they are disappearing.
Irreplaceable is more than a love letter to the haunting beauty of these landscapes and the rare species that call them home. It is also a timely account of the vital connections between humans and wildlife, uniting people to save these special places from extinction.
From local communities and grassroots campaigners to professional ecologists and academics, Julian Hoffman traces conservation stories around the globe. And in the process, he asks what a deep emotional connection to place offers us – culturally, socially and psychologically. In this rigorous, intimate and impassioned account, he presents a powerful call to arms in the face of unconscionable natural destruction.
Julian Hoffman is the author of The Small Heart of Things, which won the 2012 AWP Award Series for Creative Nonfiction and the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature. He has also written for EarthLines, Kyoto Journal, Beloit Fiction Journal, The Briar Cliff Review, Wild Apples, Flyway, The Redwood Coast Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Silk Road Review, Three Coyotes and Southern Humanities Review, amongst others. He lives in northwestern Greece.
"Irreplaceable is a compelling read, not least because Hoffman is a natural storyteller and these are incredible stories, both uplifting and tragic. Some of the passages verge towards the poetic end of the nature-writing spectrum and are imbued with an emotional intensity that reflects the challenges which the people whom he meets are facing, as they struggle to defend the nature and places they love. And this applies whether the stories are about allotments in Watford or corals in the Philippines: the people who care about the places, and the nature of those places, are the heroes. Their stories need to be told, so that more people can believe that change is possible."
– Miles King, British Wildlife 31(2), December 2019
"A passionate and lyrical work of reportage and advocacy"
"Powerful, timely, beautifully written and wonderfully hopeful [...] Julian Hoffman shines a light on what we had, what we have, and how much we still stand to lose"
– Rob Cowen, author of Common Ground
"Unforgettable. At a time when the Earth often seems broken beyond repair, this courageous and hopeful book offers life-changing encounters with the more-than-human world"
– Nancy Campbell, author of The Library of Ice
"Wonderful, tender and subtle, beautifully written and filled with a calm authority [...] No book has done more to champion the idea that connections between the human and the natural are the lifeblood of everything that matters"
– Adam Nicolson, author of The Seabird's Cry
"The power of Hoffman's book lies in the reporting: he doesn't deal – as many environmentalists do – in generalities and alarmist warnings about what lies ahead for the world, but in the specifics of the here and now."
– Evening Standard