Esther Woolfson

Esther Woolfson grew up in Glasgow and studied Chinese at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Edinburgh University. Her acclaimed short stories have appeared in many anthologies and have been read on Radio 4. She has won prizes for both her stories and her nature writing. She has been the recipient of a Scottish Arts Council Travel Grant and a Writer’s Bursary. Her latest book, Field Notes from a Hidden City (Granta Books), was shortlisted for the 2014 Thwaites Wainwright Prize for Nature and Travel Writing. She lives in Aberdeen.

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Esther Woolfson is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Books by Esther Woolfson

Field Notes From a Hidden City

Granta, February 2014
North America: Counterpoint

Field Notes From a Hidden City

Field Notes From a Hidden City
Field Notes From a Hidden City is set against the background of the austere, grey and beautiful northeast Scottish city of Aberdeen. In it, Esther Woolfson examines the elements- geographic, atmospheric and environmental- which bring diverse life forms to live in close proximity in cities. Using the circumstances of her own life, house, garden and city, she writes of the animals who live among us: the birds – gulls, starlings, pigeons, sparrows and others – the rats and squirrels, the cetaceans, the spiders and the insects. In beautiful, absorbing prose, Woolfson describes the seasons, the streets and the quiet places of her city over the course of a year, which begins with the exceptional cold and snow of 2010. Influenced by her own long experience of corvids, she considers prevailing attitudes towards the natural world, urban and non-urban wildlife, the values we place on the lives of individual species and the ways in which man and creature live together in cities.
Granta, Feb 2013 – World

Corvus: A Life with Birds

Granta, June 2009

Esther Woolfson’s daughter rescued Chicken, a fledgling rook sixteen years ago. Amazed by their intelligence and personalities, Woolfson became fascinated by corvids. Chicken, Spike the magpie, and, most recently, Ziki the Crow have formed sibling relationships with Woolfson’s daughters and with each other: cached food in her kitchen wall and laid eggs in her living room; called to her at dawn, and perched companionably on her knee of an evening; and taught her more than she ever expected about birds and about human beings. Woolfson’s account of her experiences is funny, touching and beautifully written, and offers fascinating insights into the closeness human beings can achieve with wild creatures.

Praise for Corvus

A delightful account … Woolfson succeeds in showing that we are much closer to birds than we think
Daily Telegraph

Esther Woolfson has lived with a rescued rook called Chicken, as well as a magpie and a crow, and this captivating book about her experiences seamlessly mixes expertise and anecdote in a beautifully written memoir
Evening Standard

A satisfying read from a masterful stylist, this will appeal to any fan of nature writing or personal essays
Publishers Weekly