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.


The Overstory by Richard Powers

☆ a bookseller favourite! ☆

‘This is not our world with trees in it. It’s a world of trees, where humans have just arrived’


This is the story of a group of strangers, each summoned in different ways by the natural world, brought together to save it from catastrophe.

An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate 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.

Moving through history and across landscapes, this tree-filled novel unfurls our potential to destroy or restore the natural world.


‘It changed how I thought about the Earth and our place in it’ Barack Obama



The Last Quarter of the Moon by Chi Zijian (translated by Bruce Humes)

‘A long-time confidante of the rain and snow, I am ninety years old. The rain and snow have weathered me, and I too have weathered them’


At the end of the twentieth century an old woman sits among the birch trees and reflects on the joys and tragedies that have befallen her people. A member of the Evenki tribe who wander the forests of north-eastern China, hers was a life lived 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 that marks the beginning of the end of life as they know it.


An atmospheric modern folk-tale, the saga of the Evenki clan of Inner Mongolia – nomadic reindeer herders whose traditional life alongside the Argun river endured unchanged for centuries… This is a fitting tribute to the Evenki by a writer of rare talent’ Financial Times



The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono

‘And so, with great care, he planted his hundred acorns’


While hiking through the wild lavender in a wind-swept, desolate valley in Provence, a man comes across a solitary shepherd called Elzéard Bouffier. Staying with him, he watches Elzéard sorting and then planting hundreds of acorns as he walks through the wilderness.

Ten years later, after surviving the First World War, he visits the shepherd again. A young forest is slowly spreading over the valley – Elzéard has continued his work. Year after year the narrator returns to see the miracle being created: a verdant, green landscape that is testament to one man’s creative instinct.


‘I love the humanity of this story and how one man’s efforts can change the future for so many’ Michael Morpurgo



The Man with the Compound Eyes by Wu Ming-Yi

You must love the land, my children, and ring it in with your love’


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.

In the aftermath of the catastrophe, Atile’i and Alice retrace her late husband’s footsteps into the mountains, hoping to solve the mystery of her son’s disappearance. 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.


‘A haunting and evocative tale, beautifully told. I wept at the description of the dying whales and the approaching tsunami… I think this work will be a classic’ Hugh Howey, author of Wool


The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

☆ Costa Book of the Year 2020 ☆

His stomach trembled with desire and fear and wonder because he knew what he’d seen. A woman. Right there, in the water’


On a quiet day, near the Caribbean island of Black Conch, a mermaid raises her barnacled head from the flat grey sea. She is attracted by David, a fisherman waiting for a catch, singing to himself with his guitar. Aycayia the mermaid has been living in the vast ocean all alone for centuries.

When Aycayia is caught and dragged ashore by American tourists, David rescues her with the aim of putting her back in the ocean. But it is soon clear that the mermaid is already transforming into a woman.

This is the story of their love affair, of an island and of the great wide sea.


Mesmerising’ Maggie O’Farrell
‘A unique talent’ Bernadine Evaristo
‘Not your standard mermaid’ Margaret Atwood



The Tusk That Did the Damage by Tania James

‘There he was, his trunk wrapped in hers. Whatever hurt or sorrow befell him was not really happening to him. He was on the other bank with his mother. He was not here’


When a young elephant is brutally orphaned by poachers, he begins terrorising the countryside, earning his malevolent name, the Gravedigger, 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, until eventually she finds herself caught up in her own betrayal.


‘One of the most unusual and affecting books… a compulsively readable, devastating novel’ Jonathan Safran Foer



The Wall by Marlen Haushofer

The air trembled, gold and green and clear, at the edges of the forest’


When a young elephant is brutally orphaned by poachers, he begins terrorising the countryside, earning his malevolent name, the Gravedigger, 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, until eventually she finds herself caught up in her own betrayal.


‘Brilliant in its sustainment of dread, in its peeling away of old layers of reality to expose a raw way of seeing and feeling.’ Nicole Krauss, author of The History of Love



Solar by Ian McEwan

‘Beard sank into a gloom of inattention, not because the planet was in peril – that moronic word again – but because someone was telling him it was with such enthusiasm’


Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. He now spends his days speaking for enormous fees and half-heartedly heading a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. A compulsive womaniser, Beard finds his fifth marriage floundering. But this time, she’s having the affair.

When Beard’s professional and personal worlds collide in a freak accident, an opportunity arises for Beard to simultaneously save his marriage and the world from environmental disaster.


‘Savagely funny… Enormously entertaining’ Sunday Times
‘A satirical masterpiece…it will come to be regarded as a classic’ Daily Telegraph
‘A stunningly accomplished work, possibly his best yet’ Financial Times



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