'In Australia, we have not yet composed a literature of place in which the Australian geographies sing, so in this dissertation, the author goes travelling with some North American writers in their native landscapes, exploring the practice of landscape witness, of ecological imagination. They carry on there,looking for the ways in which the wild music of the land be discerned and expressed in words. He talks with them about the business of writing the life of places. He takes heed of the natural histories in which their works have arisen, looking for correlations between those physical terrains - the actual earth, the solid ground of their work - and the terrain of these writers' prose, wondering how the prose (and sometimes the poetry) may be said to be an expression of the place. This work, in a sense, is a natural history of six nature writers; it is an ecological imagining of their lives and works and places. Writing the Wild is a journey through the light, the wind, the rock, the water, sometimes the fire that makes the land that houses the writers who compose these lyrics of place. Most of what it learns about those writers, it learns from the places themselves. This dissertation takes landscapes seriously. It reads the works of these writers as though the landscapes of which and in which they write might be worthy of regard in understanding the terrain of their texts. It lets places show light on works of words composed within them.'
(Source: Author's abstract, http://library.uws.edu.au/adt-NUWS/public/adt-NUWS20040630.093441/index.html)