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Harvest Reviews

Harvest by Edward Posnett

Harvest: The Hidden Histories of Seven Natural Objects

Edward Posnett

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: The Bodley Head Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publication date: 8 Aug 2019
ISBN: 9781847923875

Harvest follows their journey from the wildest parts of the planet, traversing Iceland, Indonesia, and Peru, to its urban centres, drawing on the voices of the gatherers, shearers and entrepreneurs who harvest, process and trade them.

4 stars out of 5
9 Aug 2019

"Could a gentler, mutually beneficial co‑operation between species help shape a green future?"

Posnett moves from one example to another with moral precision, wryness and a refusal to be discouraged. Stories build subtly and sometimes with sudden drama; all are entangled in complex political, cultural and ecological circumstances. Possibilities open and close. Palm oil plantations replacing the forests in Java do not provide sufficient insects for the swifts, who depart, leaving bird-houses empty like rustbelt factories. Sendero Luminoso guerrillas invade a nature reserve for vicuñas. Factory farming methods tempt the makers of civet coffee. Idealism, including Posnett’s own, finds itself repeatedly wrong-footed. But the quest continues. It has to; the need is so strong. 


4 stars out of 5
John Carey
4 Aug 2019

"Eider down, bird’s nest soup, coats of vicuna: how money is made from the most precious products."

All the same, Harvest is a truly remarkable debut, weird, inquisitive and swarming with memorable characters. Posnett’s second book will be worth watching for.