Since 2007, Orion has given an annual award to books that deepen our connection to the natural world, present new ideas about the relationship between people and nature, and achieve excellence in writing. Finalists for the 2015 Orion Book Award were announced last week. Over the next few days, we’ll be posting short reports from Orion staff about the finalists; in mid-June, we’ll present the winners.
Scott Russell Sanders’s new novel, Divine Animal, weaves together the lives of several key characters, who—unbeknownst to each other—are on parallel quests for healing and connection. Impassioned and skillfully crafted, this story is testimony to the power of the land and the personal transformation that we find there. Set in Vermont, Indiana, and Michigan, and grounded in environmental consciousness, Divine Animal is sure to be of interest to anyone who appreciates the themes that Orion explores. — H. Emerson Blake
Before adulthood encroached on our free time and free will, the world seemed more joyous, more enchanted, more full of opportunity. In A Country Called Childhood: Children and the Exuberant World, Jay Griffiths explores why, and her artful inquiry provides a wonderful way for readers to reconnect with their younger selves: what it was that we craved from the earth and each other, what passions and curiosities fueled our journeys of discovery. Grownups of all ages will benefit from this charming refresher course on childhood. —Jennifer Sahn
Learn more about the Orion Book Award, including past winners and finalists, here.