Bear Witness makes the controversial case for the reintroduction of species such as bears, wolves and lynxes to the Scottish landscape. Released April 25, 2013.
“Mandy Haggith is a wonderful storyteller. Science, politics, romance and nature observation all combine… This is a book with bite.” - Kenny Taylor, writer and naturalist
Bear Witness, the new novel by Mandy Haggith, will certainly stir the passions of those on both sides of the debate about the notion of reintroducing large – and potentially dangerous – animals to the Scottish wilderness.
It tells the story of Callis MacArthur, an ecologist who is galvanized into becoming an activist after the brutal shooting of a bear cub. Dreaming of bears roaming free – even in Scotland, a thousand years after their disappearance – Callis finds herself exploring Europe’s remotest forests and meeting colourful characters who are as passionate about nature as she is.
But as she begins to embrace her wild side, she faces escalating challenges: she must risk her career and endure agonising personal losses to avoid being swept up in events and emotions beyond her control.
Combining lyrical prose, mythical themes, romance and a cracking plot, Bear Witness is a page-turner with a heart and mind. The book is being launched on April 22 – Earth Day – at a special Highland summit of wildlife experts discussing the pros and cons of reintroducing large species to Scotland.
How Wild Can We Go? will feature speakers such as Jim Crumley, author of The Last Wolf, and Roy Dennis, Scotland's leading expert on reintroductions of various species, including the osprey, sea eagle and red kite. Joining them on the panel will be a representative of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, which is leading the beaver reintroduction in Argyll, and author Mandy Haggith.
You can pre-order Bear Witness at your local independent bookshop or at Amazon UK.
Praise for Bear Witness:
“A passionate and subversive book, written with a poet's touch.” – Jason Donald, author of Choke Chain.
“Mandy Haggith is a wonderful storyteller. Science, politics, romance and nature observation all combine as she explores re-wilding of both individual and land. This is a book with bite, relevant to contemporary debate about large predators but also a source of many other pleasures and surprises. I know I’ll re-read it many times.” – Kenny Taylor, writer and naturalist.
“There have been moments throughout the history of nature writing when a writer slips through the electrified fences that keep nature and society apart, and liberates not just a biological truth but also a self-fulfilling prophecy. Mandy Haggith’s daring and at times beautifully worked novel is one such moment. This IS what will happen. Read and learn.” – Jim Crumley, author of The Last Wolf.
"A passionate and authoritative novel. Haggith’s evocation of landscape and wildlife is lyrical and vivid, written with a poet’s eye for detail. Her characters convince and entertain. This ambitious, visionary novel belongs to no single genre but encompasses romance, drama, comedy and literary fiction. Bear Witness is a big-hearted book and deserves to find a wide readership. It will make a significant contribution to the debate about the future of Scotland’s wilderness.” – Linda Gillard, author of Star Gazing.