Ellen Viste - Selected Title Author

Ellen Viste writes about the air around us which is always invisible – but never empty. – Except from when it storms, it is mainly when we feel the wind against us, that we notice it. How does the wind form nature, and what does it mean to us humans? she asks in her book Tales of the Wind.

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Ellen Viste has written the book 'Tales of the Wind'. Photo: Jan Tore Eriksen / NORLA.

Tales of the wind. The Air on Eart – and Everything It Carries is one of NORLA’s Selected Titles for autumn 2023. Here, author Ellen Viste speaks about the book, who it is written for, what inspired her to write it and where and when she works best.

What is your book about?

The air around us is invisible, but never empty. Just as the wind once swept Columbus across the Atlantic, it also sends rain, seeds, and pollution toward new lands. Tales of the Wind is about this endless stream of air, and everything the air carries with it. Through stories from science, history, and journeys in nature, we learn why the air rarely stays still and how the wind shapes the world.

You can read about a Briton who explored sandstorms from a Model T Ford, about how Japan used the wind to bomb the United States, about Jesuit monks who forecasted hurricanes in the Philippines, and about young meteorologists who revolutionized international weather forecasting from Bergen in Norway.

In between the stories, you’ll learn why a climate scientist is slamming a sledgehammer onto a glacier, whether wind turbines could potentially use up all the powers of the air, and why the atmosphere doesn’t simply lift up and disappear into space.

What inspired you to write this book?

The book starts with a kayak trip in a headwind. Apart from storms, it’s often when we have the wind against us that we take notice of it. The struggle to move forward inspired me to explore the wind’s origins. Does it always have to be windy on Earth? How does the wind shape nature, and what does it mean for us humans?

Who is this book for?

The book is perfect for anyone interested in weather and wind, but also for those who are curious about nature and how we humans relate to it.

Where and/or when do you work best?

When I’m gathering or summarizing information, it’s most practical to be in front of my desk at home. But if I’m writing, the buzz of a café or just being in a new place can create momentum. I enjoy working outdoors, but it can’t be windy! Not only does the wind carry things away, but the disquiet in the air can make me restless. Even the tiniest little gust can disrupt my train of thought. These unpredictable disturbances were also something that inspired me to write about the wind.

Read more

See full presentation of the book here

See all NORLA’s Selected Titles for autumn 2023 here