Press

Reviews of Irreplaceable:

“So if you read one book this year, make it Julian Hoffman’s Irreplaceable. I’m not going to dilute that statement with qualifiers (‘If you read one nonfiction book…’ or ‘If you like nature books…’). It’s too important a book to limit its audience in any way.” ~ Rebecca Foster, Shiny New Books

“The power of Hoffman’s book lies in the reporting: he doesn’t deal – as many environmentalists do – in generalities and alarmist warnings about what lies ahead for the world, but in the specifics of the here and now.” ~ Evening Standard Book of the Week

“If the pen really is mightier than the sword, then Julian Hoffman is a knight errant, looking for trouble, a champion of underdogs.” ~ Paul Evans, Caught by the River

“The book speaks to the most momentous questions of our time – questions of loss on a mass scale and human responses in the face of that loss. These questions are unavoidably difficult, and political, but Hoffman’s language of resistance is beautiful as it is necessary. He etches out the contours of fields and allotments and fenlands, as much as the various colours of hearts stubbornly tied to their protection.” ~ Amy Doffegnies, Kendal Mountain Festival Review

“A passionate and lyrical work of reportage and advocacy.” ~ Caspar Henderson, The Guardian

“Lyrical and hugely intelligent.” ~ Mark Cocker, The New Statesman

“A powerful, tender, inspiring clarion call to save the places that matter, right across the globe.” ~Nature’s Home, RSPB

“A powerful hymn to humanity engaging with nature…[a] remarkable, illuminating book.” ~ Paddy Woodworth, Irish Times

Irreplaceable is a compelling read, not least because Hoffman is a natural storyteller and these are incredible stories, both uplifting and tragic. Some of the passages verge towards the poetic end of the nature-writing spectrum and are imbued with an emotional intensity that reflects the challenges which the people whom he meets are facing, as they struggle to defend the nature and places they love. And this applies whether the stories are about allotments in Watford or corals in Indonesia: the people who care about the places, and the nature of those places, are the heroes. Their stories need to be told, so that more people can believe that change is possible.” ~ British Wildlife Magazine

“At a time of much stress on the natural world and on us humans, it is a welcome relief to read this exceptionally well-written book about extinction rebellions actually happening on the ground…In his profound exploration, Hoffman’s book is especially a testament to the tenacity of local people and groups whom he describes with much fondness as embodying that great motivating force wrought by strong connection to places.” ~ ECOS: Challenging Conservation

“It’s an eloquent, sustained prose poem about the beauty and historical, cultural, and ecological attributes of special areas, and is evocative because of its gorgeous, passionate writing.” ~ Foreword Reviews


Reviews of The Small Heart of Things:

“The message of finding wonder in our surroundings, as familiar as it may seem, is fresh here. The prose soothes. The pages absorb you. Hoffman’s world is endlessly instructive and inclusive. It’s our world, too, if we wish to see it that way. An environment on its own is uninflected, but it becomes a home when we attach experience to it. Any place—and every place—can be a home. The Small Heart of Things is a celebration of spaces and the hidden, miraculous lives within them, but it’s a quiet celebration, the pause after you open a gift, truly surprised, and inhabit a speechless moment.” ~ The Rumpus

“In writing this remarkable work of environmental and natural-history literature, Hoffman resided in the Prespa Lakes Transboundary Park shared by Greece, Albania, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. These seventeen short essays capture an intensely focused, curious, tireless, supremely gifted writer as he acquaints himself with himself and one of the world’s most unique places.” ~ ForeWord Reviews

“What makes Hoffman’s plea for a deeper engagement with the natural world so arresting is that this engagement doesn’t come at the expense of a relationship with the often-messy political and social environments of a place, but rather strengthens it. Hoffman’s tranquility is not a passive retreat from our tumultuously loud, permanently distracted era; his project is to exert a compassionate mindfulness in the face of apathy—apathy toward the environment, or toward overlooked or forgotten populations.” ~ The Iowa Review

“Each handcrafted story shows us how the doors of our perception are opened, if, like the author, we pay loving attention to the places around us. Our universal human capacity for attention, when finely honed, as in this wordsmith’s collection, enables us to see the beauty in the ordinary as in the marvellous…essays in perception, intelligent and ethical perception.” ~ Revd. Shaun Lambert, The Baptist Times

“It is a book that revels in the slow consideration of people, places and change. Unlike the TVs in the living rooms of the world, The Small Heart of Things takes its time with images, ideas and impressions. It is the big picture, on the small page…These stories about Prespa can tell us a lot about our world, if we care to listen and learn. It is about “the resonance of place,” wherever we happen to make our personal connections with place.” ~ Lorne Daniel, Writing: Place

“Julian Hoffman’s vast knowledge of the natural world is surpassed only by his deep compassion for all beings – human and otherwise – who inhabit this planet we all share. The Small Heart of Things is a big-hearted book written in prose as clear and strong as the stunningly beautiful Greek landscape it describes.” ~BK Loren, author of Theft: a Novel

“This writer is a seeker and seer among those who work the land within the cycles of time. He knows how to listen and not simply catalog nature, both human and wild, but create a tapestry of embodied stories born out of the intimate wisdom of sweat and hunger and an earthly intelligence. At a time when we wonder where hope resides, this is a book of faith in the natural histories of community, broken and sustained. Not only does the language honor the encountered beauties along the way, it explores a complexity of ideas that reminds us we are not strangers in the world if we remain open to awe and respectful of the tenacious spirit required to live in place. The Small Heart of Things is a book of patience.” ~Terry Tempest Williams, author of Finding Beauty in a Broken World

“‘To be at home in the world is to let ourselves be drawn into its embrace,’ writes Julian Hoffman in this sparkling, humane collection of essays. Something similar can be said about reading his exquisite book—we’re drawn into the warmth and intimacy of his meditations. Part travel writing, part environmental witness, part celebration of the human spirit in the more-than-human world, this book guides us to a distant landscape of borders visible and invisible and of enriching change. Throughout, Hoffman is a superb tour guide: observant, knowledgeable, and deftly surprising in the connections he makes among the myriad small things he enables us to see.” ~Elizabeth Dodd, author of Horizon’s Lens

 

 

 

 

 

 

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