book hack

Islands of Abandonment

Cal Flyn

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Scottish author and journalist Cal Flyn explores how nature is flourishing in places that humans have abandoned.


Islands of Abandonment

Islands of Abandonment

by Cal Flyn


The natural environment is in trouble due to human activity, but after we destroy nature and then leave, nature comes rushing back in. Nature's ability to reclaim places that humans have left behind due to weapons of war or industrial pollution is astounding.

Cal Flyn is a Scottish author and journalist who has written for publications including Granta and The Guardian. Islands of Abandonment, Flyn's second book, was shortlisted for the 2021 Wainwright Prize for writing on global conservation.

Instead of the desolation expected from ghost towns, conflict zones, and areas of high pollution, Flyn brings a hopeful message about the power that nature has to repair itself, even in the most ruined of places.

Favorite quote

What draws my attention, however, is ... the narrow band of brightening sky that might indicate a fresh dawn of a new wild as, across the world, ever more land falls into abandonment.

- Cal Flyn

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