Dag O. Hessen - Selected Title Author

Dag O. Hessen has written a book for those who long for, and have a strong love for, nature. – It is a homage to the wild nature, manifested by the almost mythological wolverine, the hunt to see it in the mountains, and everything else once can see on the way, he says.

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Dag O. Hessen has written the book 'Tracking the Wolverine'. Photo: Anne Valeur.

Tracking the Wolverine is one of NORLA’s Selected Titles for autumn 2023. Here, author Dag. O Hessen speaks about the book, who it is written for, what inspired him to write it and where and when he works best.

What is your book about?

It primarily revolves around the joy of really immersing yourself in nature – the ability to step off the proverbial treadmill for a while and take the time to look up at the starry sky, observe the life we’re a part of, relish the absence of stress and noise, and ponder some profound questions about life and the meaning of it. But it’s also a tribute to wild nature as embodied by the almost mythological wolverine, the quest to catch a glimpse of it in the mountains, and all the other things you can see along the way. It’s also a personal reflection on time and the fleeting nature of life.

What inspired you to write this book?

First and foremost, the wolverine itself, but also the longing to spend more time in nature – through this project. Long ski trips across the plains without a watch or phone, nights in a hammock in the high mountain forest, but also the desire to write a book that’s different from your typical non-fiction. A book that is more open, more literary, and without footnotes and references.

Who is this book for?

Primarily those who have a longing for – and a love of – nature, which I suppose applies to most of us. But also for those who wish to learn more about nature. I am a biologist after all, but I’ve always had a desire to convey knowledge and wonder through a more literary book project as well.

Where and/or when do you work best?

Since I’m primarily a researcher who leads a center for climate research and a major research project, my writing process is never optimal; it’s usually a few stolen hours on the weekends and in the early morning. This time, however, I brought a notebook with me into the mountains – in hammocks and cabins – and recorded observations, atmospheres, and thoughts along the way. This has been essential for capturing the “in-the-moment” feeling that is otherwise quite difficult to recreate. However, I am yet to have the opportunity to write a book the way I really want to: with uninterrupted time at the cabin.

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See full presentation of the book here

See all NORLA’s Selected Titles for autumn 2023 here