Tracking the Wolverine (Innbundet)

Chasing the animal, the purpose and the memories in a diminishing nature


Dag O. Hessen

Norwegian title: Jervesporet
Norwegian subtitle: Jakten på dyret, meningen og minnene i en krympende natur
Binding: Innbundet
Year: 2023
Pages: 224
Publisher: Cappelen Damm
Språk: Bokmål
ISBN/EAN: 9788202677008
Overview Jervesporet

One day in February 1972 Dag O. Hessen is on a ski trip with his father in the mountains when they come across a wolverine track in the snow. The young Dag convinces his father to follow the trail, but after half an hour of searching the imprints of the predator disappear down a steep passage and they have to give up on their hunt.

50 years later he’s back at the same place to pick up on the trail of the animal that escaped him. His father is now long gone, but the mountains are still there and somewhere out there is a wolverine.

Tracking the Wolverine is Hessen’s most personal book so far. It’s a portrait of Norwegian nature’s most fascinating and shy animal, so compact in its wildness and power that there is hardly anything like it. An animal with a jaw strong enough to bite through even the thickest thigh bones and enough power to take down an animal many times its own weight, bite its head off and then drag its body up a tree. Seeing the animal in its natural habitat is a rarity only very few people get to experience.

The wolverine, and the desire to meet the wild animal, is the framing of the story taking place in the mountainous nature. But this is also a story about time passing and changes we cannot prevent. About everything that slips through our fingers. The things we cannot completely catch and tame: A childhood long gone, close family members who have passed, the wild nature and a natural diversity which is about to weather away. And at the bottom of all of this lies a deep affection and respect for nature and biology, presented by one of Norway’s most respected non-fiction authors.

«... several of the country's non-fiction writers should envy his effortless elegance and ability to find formulations like this one, about the author's fascination for the wolverine as 'a primal force, the wilderness in animal form, everything that is lost in an increasingly tame residual landscape.'»

«Hessen the poet rises to his full height. This he has threatened to to in previous books too, but not dared to take the leap, perhaps? But this book was worth the wait. Hessen shows the tender and weary nuances in life, and in nature. The nature descriptions are touching. I feel I am gazing into the mountains, and feel, in an animalistic way, that life is good.»

«He is our Thoreau, anno 2023.»


«Dag O. Hessen’s Tracking the Wolverine will place as one of this year’s best non-fiction books.»

«The book deserves a place next to the author’s own favourite cabin reads: Zappfe, Thoreau, and Ingstad.»


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More books by Dag O. Hessen:

Reviews Jervesporet

Fornuft til fjells 29.08.2023

«Norges fremste formidler av kunnskap om naturen.»

«Skal man formidle noe til menneskene om naturens sammenheng og skjønnhet, må man ha kontakt både med naturen og med menneskene, og det har Dag O. Hessen. For meg virker det som han har funnet en nær optimal balanse, et oversyn i livet, og i kunnskapen og gleden over naturen som fortjener å kalles visdom.»

Ola Hegdal, NRK

På sporet av tapt natur 18.08.2023

«Poeten Hessen reiser seg i sin fulle høyde. Det har han truet med i tidligere bøker også, men har ikke våget spranget, kanskje? Men denne boka har vært verdt å vente på. Hessen får frem de såre og vare nyansene i livet, og i naturen. Naturskildringene er berørende. Jeg føler at også jeg skuer innover fjellene og føler, på dyrs vis, at livet er godt.»
«Han [Hessen] er vår Thoreau, anno 2023.»

Andrew P. Kroglund, Vårt Land

På rett spor 12.08.2023

«Dag O. Hessens «Jervesporet» vil få plass blant årets beste sakprosabøker.»

«Det vil overraske meg om den ikke befinner seg i toppen når status for årets beste sakprosabøker skal gjøres opp.»

«Boka fortjener en plass ved siden av forfatterens egen favoritt-hyttelektyre: Zappfe, Thoreau og Ingstad.»

Espen Stueland, Bokmagasinet, Klassekampen

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Author Dag O. Hessen

Dag O. Hessen is a Professor of Biology at the University of Oslo. He has written many scientific works on themes like ecology and evolution. He has also published ten popular science books about evolution, biology and the environment. His work is found at the crossroads of biology and philosophy. He has received several awards for his promotion of popular science, among them the Riksmålsprisen in 2008.

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Foreign rights

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