Islands of Grass
by Trevor Herriot
From esteemed naturalist Trevor Herriot and acclaimed nature photographer Branimir Gjetvaj, Islands of Grass is a beautiful, well-researched call-to-action and a passionately wrought love letter to the prairie grasslands that are rapidly disappearing in the wake of modernity's relentless push.
Winner of two 2018 Saskatchewan Book Awards:
City of Regina Book Award
University of Saskatchewan Non-Fiction Award
Finalist, 2018 High Plains Book Awards, Art & Photography Award
Before the arrival of settlers, the Great Northern Plain sprawled across the centre of the continent and rivalled the African savannah for wildlife, with herds of bison and pronghorn antelope numbering in the millions. It was also the home for species of birds and animals that lived nowhere else.
Today that range is threatened by human incursion and in some areas there are only pockets of unadulterated prairie grassland left, small islands of a unique environment. In those small plots of grasslands species cling to survival, unable to thrive in any other environment.
In presenting the irreplaceable beauty and the complexity of the grasslands, Trevor and Branimir ask the reader to both admire its majesty and consider its value. Full of extraordinary photos supported by the thought-provoking prose of Trevor Herriot, this book will bring the wonder of the grasslands to a wider audience.
Praise for Islands of Grass:
"This beautifully written book astonishes from the start and builds throughout to shift conscious and unconscious assumptions about Saskatchewan's valuable grassland ecosystems. In his clear, fluid prose, Trevor Herriot lays out a powerful argument about why these lands must be conserved, integrating Indigenous and settler perspectives and histories with his own keenly observed insight and knowledge. A surprising page-turner, Islands of Grass will change how its readers see expansive fields of empty space bounded by fence lines." - Judges, City of Regina Book Award, 2018 Saskatchewan Book Awards (Winner)
"Trevor Herriot and Branimir Gjetvaj's collaborative work is not only a lyrical exploration of the beauty of the Saskatchewan grasslands, but also a ridiculously-researched call to action. Framed by Gjetvaj's breathtaking photography, Herriot's prose accomplishes the difficult task of narrating first-hand stories of grassland life while simultaneously unpacking the often-complex anthropological, scientific, and political contexts of ecological preservation. Provocative and informative in its style and tone, Islands of Grass is a fine example of non-fiction that achieves both social impact and literary merit." - Judges, University of Saskatchewan Non-Fiction Award, 2018 Saskatchewan Book Awards (Winner)
"Well-argued and embellished with captivating photographs, this beautifully-produced full-colour volume is a convincing account of the importance of native grasslands to a total ecology. Gjetvaj's images reveal, in exquisite landscape and close-up views, the land's flora, fauna, and human inhabitants. Herriot's insightful narrative is urgently pertinent to southern Saskatchewan and related regions and is a message that needs to be more widely heard. It offers an erudite and well-presented environmental message that invites the reader-viewer to a meditative, reflective contemplation and stirs an inclination to act on the grassland's behalf." - Judges, Regina Public Library Book of the Year Award, 2018 Saskatchewan Book Awards (Finalist)