Five Books deputy editor Cal Flyn’s second work of nonfiction, Islands of Abandonment, is a book about abandoned places: ghost towns and exclusion zones, no man’s lands and post-industrial hinterlands – and what happens when nature is allowed to reclaim its place. Exploring extraordinary places where humans no longer live – or survive in tiny, precarious numbers – Islands of Abandonment give us 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 is out on 21 January, 2021, in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It will be released in North America on 1 June.