Mushroom Season – runner up in 2013 FT/Bodley Head Essay Prize
Uprooted: On the Trail of the Green Man – Faber Social, March 2016
Uprooted is about the Green Man myth and mythology and religion and how those things come about. It is also about our relationship with nature, and about what nature is. It is a bit messy and slightly untrustworthy, as anything lurking in the undergrowth should be. My friend Soma calls it ‘punk religion’, which is pretty accurate. It was awarded the Authors’ Foundation Roger Deakin Award in 2015. More on Uprooted here.
Praise for Uprooted:
‘Riotously fecund…Uprooted is less a work of cultural history or countryside writing than a pantheist call to arms.’ – The Guardian
‘Gloriously eccentric… Distinguished by the excellence of its writing and its quirky, hobbyhorsical discursiveness, Uprooted is very much a book for our confusing and ever more confused times.’ – The Spectator
‘This quirky but engaging book describes Lyon’s quest to track down as many examples of [The Green Man] as she can…Ultimately the book is less about the Green Man and more about the author’s search for meaning in her life. It could have become unbearably self-indulgent, but Lyon is a witty and insightful writer and her account is filled with self-deprecating charm’ – The Sunday Times
‘Nina Lyon’s new book on the “Green Man”, which, it turns out, is not really about the Green Man at all, but something bigger. It is an unusual, digressive and timely piece of writing that pulls on many threads.. But just as the meaning of the Green Man hides behind the foliage that sprouts from his mouth and eye sockets, it turns out that the true purpose of Uprooted is also hiding in the undergrowth, waiting to be discovered.’ – The New Statesman, Paul Kingsnorth
After a few false starts, I’m trying to engage with the things I find interesting through writing fiction. I’m currently working on a novel about family, mourning, belonging, mental breakdown and boarding-school shamanism in a Home Counties deer park.
I sometimes write stuff about life, outdoors etc for Caught By The River. I like writing short pieces and collaborating on things that I’m not strictly supposed to be writing about, like the new respectability of psychedelics in the Idler. I wrote about woodland and fairytales in Little Toller’s glorious anthology Arboreal, available here. A semi-satirical piece on lichens and capital, Hyphae, was published in Dark Mountain 8; a jointly authored paper on how Nietzsche’s Genealogy of Morals sheds light on the darkness of Mumsnet and the Manosphere in Self and Society. I’ve also presented widely at conferences on Carroll, koans, antirealism and so on over the last couple of years – more on my academic interests here.