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Common Ground
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Immersive, evocative and powerful, Common Ground is a unique evocation of how, over the course of one year, Rob Cowen discovered a common - though extraordinary - square mile of wood, meadow, hedge and river on the edge of his northern town.

About the Author

Rob Cowen is an award-winning writer and author. His 2012 debut Skimming Stones and Other Ways of Being in the Wild won the Roger Deakin Award from the Society of Authors. His second book, Common Ground (2015), has been hailed as a seminal and genre-defying work redefining writing on people and place. Common Ground was voted third in a 2018 poll to find Britain's favourite nature book of all time, a 'Book of the Year' in The Times, The Express and The Independent, and 'Top Ten Readers' Choice' in The Guardian. It was also shortlisted for the Wainwright, Portico and Richard Jefferies Society prizes. Previously a nature and travel columnist at The Independent, Rob has contributed to the New York Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph and written essays and radio programmes for the BBC. His poetry and prose have featured in various journals and books. He lives in North Yorkshire.

Reviews

One of the most original books of 2015. -- Melissa Harrison * Books of the Year, The Times *
Bold and beautiful. -- Robert Macfarlane * New Statesman *
Cracking... Vividly and movingly described... Cowen writes very well. -- Alan Bennett * London Review of Books *
Absolutely mesmerising, utterly beautiful, utterly engrossing - it takes a lot for a book to give me goosebumps but this one did. -- Joanne Harris * Simon Mayo Drivetime BBC Radio 2 *
[A] multi-faceted, touched-by-genius exploration of a stretch of Harrogate wasteland. -- John Lewis-Stempel * Sunday Express, Books of the Year *
Marks out Cowen as a new writer who is both entertaining and significant... Cowen's descriptive writing is visceral and gripping... and his attention to colour is particularly striking. -- Richard Benson * Independent *
Magical... Deeply original... a detailed nature study [and] a moving memoir... I became both intrigued and enchanted by this hybrid approach. -- Sara Maitland * Countryfile magazine, Book of the Month *
Highly poetic... like an archaeologist, Cowen unearths histories, natural life and decayed infrastructure in a small area bordering the River Nidd... Above all, Common Ground is about the transformative power of this unnoticed piece of land, if one can only stand and stare for long enough' -- Serena Tarling * Financial Times *
Highly poetic... like an archaeologist, Cowen unearths histories, natural life and decayed infrastructure in a small area bordering the River Nidd... Above all, Common Ground is about the transformative power of this unnoticed piece of land, if one can only stand and stare for long enough' -- Serena Tarling * Financial Times *
Sensitive, thoughtful and poetic. Rob Cowen rakes over a scrap of land with forensic care, leading us into a whole new way of looking at the world. -- Michael Palin

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