Islands of Abandonment | Cal Flyn

Ghost towns, exclusion zones, no man’s lands and post-industrial hinterlands: in this immersive exploration the winner the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year and the John Burroughs Medal writes about what happens when nature is allowed to reclaim abandoned place. In Chernobyl, following the nuclear disaster, only a handful of people returned to their dangerously irradiated homes; on an uninhabited Scottish island, feral cattle live entirely wild; in Detroit, once America’s fourth-largest city, entire streets of houses are falling in on themselves. Exploring extraordinary places where humans no longer live – or survive in tiny, precarious numbers – Islands of Abandonment offers a glimpse of what nature gets up to when we’re not there to see it. From Tanzanian mountains to the volcanic Caribbean, the forbidden areas of France to the mining regions of Scotland, Flyn brings together some of the most desolate, eerie, ravaged and polluted areas in the world – and shows how, against all odds, they offer our best opportunities for environmental recovery. Islands of Abandonment attempts to answer some big questions: what happens after we’re gone, and how far can our damage to nature be undone?