Notes from a Summer Cottage

Swedish title: Livets tunna väggar

Category: General Non-Fiction / Essays

Pub date: 15-09-2020

Notes from a Summer CottageThe Intimate Life of the Outside World

Nina Burton

From the 2016 August Prize for Non-Fiction winner comes a beguiling and in many ways exceptional nature memoir, an homage to the natural world around us.

What begins with a renovation of Nina Burton’s summer cottage, swiftly turns into an exploration of nature, life and philosophy in the hands of the award-winning essayist. Within the walls, the ceiling and the floor of the cottage and its surrounding garden, we encounter a host of animals—ants, honey bees, foxes, squirrels, blackbirds, badgers, pigeons and deer—making her house their home, which prompted Nina to explore what is awe-inspiring and often delightfully surprising in each species.

For instance, did you know that there are more ants altogether than the number of seconds that have passed since the Big Bang? And that in relation to their size, their anthill cities can be larger than London and New York? Or, that a bird’s migratory instinct is so strong that an injured stork once escaped captivity and was found six weeks later having walked 150 kilometres, following the migratory path of his flock on foot?

This and many other remarkable musings are woven together with scientific exploration in the absolutely captivating NOTES FROM A SUMMER COTTAGE, in which Nina reveals the inner lives and hitherto unknown habits of the animals with which she shares her enchanted space.

A clear heir to the Swedish tradition of nature writing first made famous by Kerstin Ekman, Nina Burton writes with boundless enthusiasm and an inspiring curiosity, while enlightening the reader about the greater natural world. She transports us into her chirping, buzzing, humming sanctuary, letting us in on the hidden secrets of the animals who have taken up residence on our doorsteps and in our hearts.

‘A true gift to readers’

— Svenska Dagbladet

‘I was completely enchanted within ten pages’


‘Burton has unparalleled stylistic brio’

—Aftonbladet, on The Gutenberg Galaxy Nova

Rights sold

Bulgarian: Janet 45
Chinese (simpl): Guangxi Normal University Press
Danish: Kristeligt Dagblad Forlag
Dutch: Van Oorschot
English (UK): HarperCollins UK
Estonian: Sinisukk
Finnish: Schildts & Söderström
German: btb Verlag
Japanese: Soshisha
Korean: Open Books
Norwegian: Res Publica
Polish: Burda
Russian: AdMarginem
Slovak: Ikar
Slovenian: Mladinska
Spanish: Gallo Nero

Johanna Lindborg
Johanna Lindborg

Senior Literary Agent | Fiction & Narrative Non-Fiction, Film & TV

+46 737 12 92 02

Full profile