John Hanson Mitchell
John Hanson Mitchell is the author of Ceremonial Time and eight other books on cultural and environmental history. His early books concentrated on a single square mile of land west of Boston known as Scratch Flat. His most recent book is The Paradise of all These Parts: A Natural History of Boston (Beacon, 2010).
Along with his nonfiction work, John Hanson Mitchell is editor of the award winning magazine, Sanctuary, published by the Massachusetts Audubon Society. In 2001, he won a Vogelstein grant for his book Following the Sun. He was awarded an honorary PhD from Fitchburg State University for his work on the book Ceremonial Time, and was given three different grants for Looking for Mr. Gilbert, the story of his discovery of the first African American landscape photographer. He is also winner of the John Burroughs Essay Award for his Sanctuary piece, “Of Time and the River”. In 2000, he was given the New England Booksellers’ Award for the body of his work.
Mitchell attended the Sorbonne and is a graduate of Columbia University. A former journalist, he has had assignments in Kerala in southern India and also around the South China Sea, and has written extensively about the gardens and natural history of Western Europe. His book The Rose Café is about Corsica.
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Where to buy in print
The Last of the Bird People
by John Hanson Mitchell
John Hanson Mitchell's new novel is about a secretive band of mixed-race hunter-gatherers who lived, undiscovered, in the Swift River Valley of Central Massachusetts for many generations. The book, which takes the form of a legal deposition, is the story of the fate of these retiring, peaceable people and the young anthropologist who first contacted them.
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