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Books by Emily Hiestand




For essays & articles, visit Essays.






Angela the
Upside Down
& Other

Domestic Travels

  by Emily Hiestand

Beacon Press, 1999

True stories, set in an urban neighborhood and in the territory of

memory. Populated by Joe Bain and his market, a former red maple swamp, an African American church, Aunt Nan Dean, Atom City circa 1955, and a pair of blue jay bricoleurs. 

Stories from Angela have received The National Magazine Award and The Pushcart Prize, and were selected for Best Essays from the 25 years of the Pushcart Prize, and publication in Jo’s Girls, City Wilds, The Atlantic Monthly, Salon, and The Norton Book of Nature Writing.   More

“The originality of Joyce in Dublin”
Cambridge Chronicle

“Comic Genius”
The Boston Globe

“Irrepressible curiosity and sense of adventure”
The New York Times Book Review

“Stylistically perfect”
The National Magazine Award for "Hymn


The Very Rich Hours
Travels to Orkney,

Belize, the Everglades

and Greece

by Emily Hiestand

Beacon Press, 1992

  An adventurous exploration of nature and culture and a tribute to travel: swimming around the second largest living thing on the planet; pining for a salad in Scotland; seeking the Maya in Belize; navigating a houseboat through the Everglades. 

"One of the five best travel books of 1992"
San Francisco Examiner

Travel writing is a demanding genre. At its best, it is an exquisite mix of the personal, the philosophical and the factual—artfully propelled by vivid description. That's not an easy balance to achieve. But Emily Hiestand gets it just right.
The Inquirer

If one must travel, one should do it with the eyes of a child, the mind of an ecologist, the heart of a pagan, and the words of a poet. Astonishingly, Emily Hiestand has all of that.
Kirkpatrick Sale, The Conquest of Paradise


Green the Witch Hazel Wood

by Emily Hiestand

Graywolf Press, 1989

Recipient of the National Poetry Series Award

Poems about particle physics, men, and ducks. A book based on the idea that poetry is the place in language equivalent to the pure research laboratory of science.

Hiestand...works reason…until it explodes once again into the magic and mystery it truly is
Jorie Graham

Books to which Emily has contributed
  Home Ground  

Language for an American Landscape
Trinity University Press, 2006
Edited by Barry Lopez and Debra Gwartney

Contributors include Barbara Kingsolver, Emily Hiestand,

Bill McKibben, Frank Burroughs, Gretel Erlich and others. 

Lopez invited a group of authors to write definitions of American landscape terms—among them yazoo, sandhills, milk gap, hook, nook, lek, swag, and birdfoot delta.  I was honored to be involved in this historic project along with the two mighty editors and wonderful writers. Cumulatively, the entries reveal the vast and storied particulars of our continent — from the dreen tides of New England to the pingos of Alaska.

         "Tiny essays in the guise of definitions...
          a way of reclaiming the language."
                       —The New York Times


Writers Explore 21st-century Boston 
Beacon Press, 2004
Edited by Emily Hiestand and Ande Zellman

A fresh portrait of The Hub through the essays of fifteen of Boston’s finest writers.  Shaped and edited by Emily Hiestand, with invaluable colleagues Ande Zellman and Barbara Hindley; sponsored by The Boston Foundation, and presented as a gift from the city to the delegates at the 2004 Democratic National Convention. 


Introduction by Emily Hiestand 
Milkweed Press, 2001

“Ideas about nature are famously malleable.  Take a peek, and Shazamm!—you have opened what Casey Stengal once called "A box of Pandoras."  The word "nature" can mean "everything that is," a conception that clearly contains us, along with our fiber optics, jazz riffs, and hybrid fuels. Just as often, "nature" is used in contradistinction to "culture," to mean the given world, all those aspects of the earth not created by humankind…And, sometimes "nature" will mean what the ancient Stoics meant by the word physis—an active, guiding force, more verb than noun.”  More



                            Telling True Stories




A Nonfiction Writers' Guide

Penguin Plume, 2007

from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

Editors: Mark Kramer & Wendy Call

Inspiring stories and refreshingly candid advice from some

of America's most respected journalists and essayists:

Nicholas Lemann on Weaving Story & Idea
Tracy Kidder on Field Notes and Drafts
Me on Prose Style.  To read the essay, visit On Style




Other books to which Emily has contributed









Greece:  True Stories of Life on the Road
(Travelers Tales)

Toward the Livable City
"The Backside of Civility"

(Milkweed Press) 

Nature Writing: The Tradition in English
"Zip a Dee Doo Dah"

(WW Norton)

The Road North
(Travelers Tales Guides)

Jo’s Girls: Tomboy Tales of High Adventure and True Grit

(Beacon Press)

Working the Dirt: An Anthology of Southern Poets
(New South Books)

In Short
"Afternoon Tea"

(WW Norton & Co.)

Central America
(Travelers Tales: True Stories)

A Woman’s Path
(Travelers Tales)

Night Out: Hotels, Motels, Restaurants & Bars
(Milkweed Press)

Verse and Universe: Poems about Science and Mathematics
(Milkweed Press)

Orpheus & Company: Contemporary Poems on Greek Mythology
(University Press of  New England)

City Wilds: Essays on Urban Nature
(University of Georgia Press)














"The most exciting

  travel writing I have

  read in years."

           – Robert Finch, author,

              Death of  Hornet, and

              editor of the W.W. Norton

             Book of Nature Writing