by Jason Cowley (ed.).
More environments than nature writing, really—but still great stuff.
Although the official theme for this edition of Granta is The New Nature Writing, it would have been more appropriate in many ways to choose the theme Environments. Most of the pieces are about how human beings interract with and influence their local environments. In some pieces, nature barely makes an appearance—but it's still great stuff.
There are some excellent pieces in this edition, including one about farmers on the Norfolk Fens by Robert Macfarlane (with atmospheric accompanying photographs by Justin Partkya), reminiscences about a run-down estate in Netherley, Richard Mabey on the Forthingall Yew, Jonathan Raban on the American West, and Edward Platt on Birdwatching in the West Bank.
The good news for people like me who prefer Granta's factual writing is that there only one piece of fiction in this edition (which is pretty good). On the down-side, however, there is an unnecessary, 10-page cartoon filler-piece, trendily described as graphic fiction. Stop messing about, Granta, and give us more writing!