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“A beautiful book...about nature the way Walden was a book about nature. It should be read by everyone who still retains the capacity to feel anything” (The New York Times).

Stunningly written and fiercely observed, a new edition of a classic work of nature writing about a year on an Ohio farm, by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Josephine Johnson.

Originally published in 1969, The Inland Island is Josephine W. Johnson’s startling and brilliant chronicle of nature and the seasons at her rambling thirty-seven-acre farm in Ohio, which she and her husband reverted to wilderness with the help of a state forester. Over the course of twelve months, she observes the changing landscape with a naturalist’s precision and a poet’s evocative language. Readers will marvel at the way she brings to life flashes of beauty, the inexorable cycle of growth and decay, and the creatures who live alongside her, great and small.

A forerunner of iconic American women nature writers and a champion of civil rights who marched in Washington against the Vietnam war, Johnson intersperses these “delicate marvels” (The New York Times) with profound reflections about racial inequality, urbanization, social justice, and environmental destruction that speak powerfully to our time.

Ready to be rediscovered by a new generation, The Inland Island is a vital and relevant meditation on nature and time, capturing the wonder, beauty, hope—and flaws—of our turbulent world.

Josephine W. Johnson (1910–1990) was a novelist and nature writer who in 1935 became the youngest person to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her first novel, Now in November. She began her studies at Washington University and went on to write eleven books over the course of her life. When it was originally published in 1969, The Inland Island, her lyrical examination of a year on her rambling thirty-seven-acre farm in Ohio, became a beloved and critically acclaimed bestseller.

"The Inland Island is a slender little green book full of marvels. Of delicate marvels, compassionate observations and -- strangest and loveliest of all passionate denunciations.... One hardly knows which to praise more, the precision of her reporting or the fiery splendor of her anger, the brilliance of her word-pictures of the natural world or the bitterness and sorrow in her evocation of the human world  the American world."
—New York Times Book Review

"Quite simply, this is a beautiful book... The Inland Island is about nature the way Walden was a book about nature. It should be read by everyone who still retains the capacity to feel anything."
—New York Times

"Her appreciations of the many forms of natural life are electrified by discovery and assertion ... some of the best nature writing we've seen."
—Kirkus Reviews