A Natural History of Empty Lots

Field Notes from Urban Edgelands, Back Alleys, and Other Wild Places
by Christopher Brown

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A genre-bending blend of naturalism, memoir, and social manifesto for rewilding the city, the self, and society.

A Natural History of Empty Lots is a genre-defying work of nature writing, literary nonfiction, and memoir that explores what happens when nature and the city intersect. To do this, we must challenge our...

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Published By Timber Press

Format Hardback


Number Of Pages 320

Publication Date 10/15/2024

ISBN 9781643263366

Dimensions 6 inches x 9 inches

"A loving, deeply pleasurable, and sprawling investigation of place, community, personal history, and larger contexts. A Natural History of Empty Lots has the shape and liveliness of something organic, as if it has grown out of the neglected, teeming hidden places of the landscape Brown knows so well. An incredible book." 

— Kelly Link, Pulitzer finalist, MacArthur Fellow, and award-winning author of The Book of Love

"A Natural History of Empty Lots is the best and most interesting book I’ve ever read about the spaces we often overlook. Christopher Brown comes to these places with a deep curiosity and understanding of both human and nonhuman history. An instant classic."

— Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times bestselling author

"Too often, what we call ‘nature writing’ is nostalgic for what never was. Thank goodness for Christopher Brown, who sees the wonder in what is and what might be. A Natural History of Empty Lots is the nature writing we need now."

— Michelle Nijhuis, author of Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction

“Instantly hypnotic, A Natural History of Empty Lots invites you to see the ‘waste’ spaces of the Anthropocene for what they are: a resource that contains more than itself. Christopher Brown is a complete and literate denizen of these zones. His calm, clever writing shows a real care for the natural world, and a real feel for the deep worth of the brownfield liminal.”

— M. John Harrison, Goldsmiths Prize-winning author of Wish I Was Here and Climbers