Edward Hoagland has always been a citizen of two worlds. He was born in New York City and grew up there and in rural Connecticut. As a boy, he took long walks in the country where he spent hours closely observing nature, particularly animal life. Combining his rural experience with a Harvard education, Mr. Hoagland became a writer who could guide readers around both New York City and the Vermont backcountry with equal familiarity.
His writing is marked by honesty and a close reading of the details of life. His essays move quickly, portraying many finely drawn images. His writing begins with one detail of the subject and moves back from that detail, adding other pieces until at the end of the essay, the reader gets a general image of the entire topic. Reading a Hoagland essay is like observing a tree first close up, at the bark, then slowly backing away, observing other details until finally the entire tree is in view. (Naturewriting Idea)
However, his essays are not simple. Mr. Hoagland's essays move back and forth between details of both city and country. For example, his essay "Howling Back at the Wolves" begins with images of wolves legs and ends with images of human wolves emerging on a city street for a business lunch.
His nature writing is tough, facing the realities of life unsentimentally, but it is positive as well. He said, "I love life and believe in its goodness and rightness, but I seem not to be terrible well fitted for it--that is not without writing. Writing is my rod and my staff. It saves me, exults me."
In addition to his own nature writing, Mr. Hoagland edited the twenty-nine volume Penguin Nature Libary.
Edward Hoagland's Nature Writing Books
Notes from the Century Before (1969)
The Courage of Turtles (1971)
Walking the Dead Diamond River (1973)
The Moose on the Wall (1974)
Red Wolves and Black Bears (1976)
African Caliope (1979)
The Edward Hoagland Reader (1979)
The Tugman's Passage (1982)
City Tales (1986)
Heart's Desire (1988)
Balancing Acts (1992)