Scottish nature writing short film released for Frankfurt Book Fair
14 October 2020
Becoming Second Nature: new film on Scottish nature
A new short film sees Scotland's top nature writers calling for
people to 'notice' the natural world in response to the climate
crisis and the Covid pandemic.
Produced by Publishing Scotland to mark the start of the 2020
Frankfurt Book Fair, Second Nature is an 18-minute
documentary film featuring five award-winning writers talking on
the subject of nature and nature writing today: Kathleen Jamie, Jim
Crumley, Chitra Ramaswamy, Roseanne Watt and Gavin Francis.
Jim Crumley, author of the BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' The Nature of Spring, said: 'I think
nature writing has a duty to address the climate crisis. All the
signs are there that we are very close to some kind of tipping
point, beyond which the planet as we know it, can't recover. It is
the duty of a nature writer to say that as often, and as loudly and
as persuasively as possible. There's nothing more important.'
Interviewed in the film, poet and author Kathleen Jamie said:
'Politics is power, it is about a power dynamic. And when we have
absolute power over the furtherance of every other species on the
planet, that's political. So every time we notice another species,
every time we admit it into our consciousness, that has to be a
The film begins with the story of Nan Shepherd's mould-breaking
twentieth century masterpiece The Living Mountain -
written in the 1940s but only rediscovered by a general readership
at the beginning of the 21st century - and goes on to consider the
role and purpose of nature writing in Scotland today.
Chitra Ramaswamy, former winner of the Saltire First Book of the
Year Award said, 'We can no longer just sit and revel in the
transcendental beauty of nature. There has to be some
acknowledgement of what we've done to the world, and that produces
feelings of guilt and grief and loss and sadness.'
James Crawford, writer, broadcaster and Chair of Publishing
Scotland, who has written and presented the film, said: 'The
subjects being approached by nature writing in Scotland today are
incredibly broad and diverse. Yet all these writers share the same
sense of immediacy and urgency - and awareness that "noticing"
brings with it the risk, at some point in the future, of "not
noticing". Of seeing something, right up until the moment that it
is gone. There is a truth and an authenticity to the new wave of
Scottish nature writing that is incredibly powerful'.
Chief Executive of Publishing Scotland, Marion Sinclair, said
'We are living through a golden age of nature writing, at a time
when natural spaces and wilderness are under threat across the
world. The film was made for us and for Scottish Books
International to highlight our contribution to nature writing as
part of the Frankfurt Book Fair. Our publishers, writers and
photographers in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK are focusing
their attention on what we have to offer the world that is
distinctive and under-appreciated. The growing popularity of the
genre has been very exciting to watch over the last decade and our
publishers and writers are well placed to contribute to that.'
- The film is available here https://youtu.be/K8YsMC-HqAc
- Publishing Scotland is the sector support body
for the book publishing industry. Set up in 1974, and now a
charity, it represents over 98% of book publishers across Scotland.
www.publishingscotland.org. The online books site,
www.booksfromscotland.com is owned and managed by Publishing
- Scottish Books International works on behalf
of the literature sector in Scotland and is dedicated to the
international promotion of books, writers, festivals and
- Publishing Scotland and Scottish Books International are
part-funded by Creative Scotland, the public body that supports the
arts, screen and creative, distributing funding from the Scottish
Government and The National Lottery.
- The Frankfurt Book Fair (14-18 October 2020)
is the world's largest trade fair for books, based both on the
number of publishing companies represented, and the number of
visitors. It is considered to be the most important book fair in
the world for international deals and trading.
- The books featured are - The Living Mountain by Nan Shepherd,
published by Canongate Books; Surfacing by Kathleen Jamie, published by
Sort of Books, and Antlers of Water, edited by Kathleen
Jamie, published by Canongate; The Nature of Summer, by Jim Crumley,
published by Saraband Books; Expecting by Chitra Ramaswamy,
published by Saraband; Moder Dy by Roseanne Watt, published by
Polygon/Birlinn; Island Dreams by Gavin Francis, published
by Canongate; and Scotland from the Sky by James Crawford,
published by Historic Environment Scotland.
- Nan Shepherd's The Living Mountain was republished in
2011 to great acclaim. Nan Shepherd's (1893-1981) literary
achievement was recognised in 2016 when her image was featured and
still continues to feature on a £5 Scottish banknote.
- Swift Films made the documentary. www.swiftfilms.co.uk/
- James Crawford is the chair of Publishing
Scotland and is currently on our screens presenting Scotland from
the Sky, BBC2. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09wzvn7
For more information and interviews, please contact email@example.com. Or call 07772
Publishing Scotland,10 South St Andrew St, Edinburgh EH2 2AZ
www.publishingscotland.org Twitter https://twitter.com/PublishScotland
Press release Publishing Scotland 14 October 2020