Vintage Earth

Vintage Earth is a collection of novels to transform our relationship with the natural world. Each one is a work of creative activism, a blast of fresh air, a seed from which change can grow. The books in this series reconnect us to the planet we inhabit - and must protect. Discover great writing on the most urgent story of our times.

"This is not our world with trees in it. It's a world of trees, where humans have just arrived." — Richard Powers, The Overstory

Solar by Ian McEwan

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. A compulsive womaniser, Beard finds his fifth marriage floundering. But this time it is different: his wife is having the affair, and he is still in love with her. When Beard's professional and personal worlds collide in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and save the world from environmental disaster.

The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

While hiking through the wild lavender in a wind-swept, desolate valley in Provence, a man comes across a shepherd called Elzéard Bouffier. Staying with him, he watches Elzéard sorting and then planting hundreds of acorns as he walks through the wilderness. Elzéard's solitary, silent work continues and the narrator returns year after year to see the miracle he is gradually creating: a verdant, green landscape that is a testament to one man's creative instinct.

The Last Quarter Of The Moon by Chi Zijian

An old woman sits among the birch trees and thinks back over her life. She is a member of the Evenki tribe who wander the remote forests of north-eastern China with their herds of reindeer, living in close sympathy with nature at its most beautiful and cruel.

Then, in the 1930s, the intimate, secluded world of the tribe is shattered when the Japanese army invades China. The Evenki cannot avoid being pulled into the brutal conflict which marks the first step towards the end of their isolation...

The Mermaid Of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

Near the island of Black Conch, a fisherman sings to himself while waiting for a catch. But David attracts a sea-dweller that he never expected - Aycayia, an innocent young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid.

When American tourists capture Aycayia, David rescues her and vows to win her trust. Slowly, painfully, she transforms into a woman again. Yet as their love grows, they discover that the world around them is changing - and they cannot escape the curse for ever.

The Man With The Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi

On the island of Wayo Wayo, every second son must leave on the day he turns fifteen as a sacrifice to the Sea God. Atile'i however is determined to defy destiny and become the first to survive. Across the sea, Alice Shih's life is interrupted when a vast trash vortex comes crashing onto the shore of Taiwan, bringing Atile'i with it.

On their journey, memories will be challenged, an unusual bond formed, and a dark secret uncovered that will force Alice to question everything she thought she knew.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back into life by creatures of air and light. A hearing- and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. An Air Force crewmember in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan.

The Tusk That Did The Damage by Tania James

When a young elephant is brutally orphaned by poachers, it is only a matter of time before he begins terrorising the countryside, earning his malevolent name from the humans he kills and then tenderly buries with leaves. Manu, the studious son of a rice farmer, loses his cousin to the Gravedigger and is drawn into the alluring world of ivory hunting. Emma is working on a documentary set in a Kerala wildlife park with her best friend. Her work leads her to witness the porous boundary between conservation and corruption and she finds herself caught up in her own betrayal.

The Wall by Marlen Haushofer

A woman goes to the Austrian mountains to spend a few days in a hunting lodge with her cousin and his wife. When the couple fail to return from a walk, the woman tries to go into the village to look for them. Instead she comes across a transparent wall behind which there seems to be no life. Trapped behind the wall, a result of a too successful military experiment, she begins the arduous work of not only survival but self-renewal.