Winton’s fiction has always featured some of the sharpest nature writing around, and in this collection of autobiographical essays, he goes at it full throttle. Proud and humbled to hail from “the world’s largest island, “ Winton celebrates Australia’s dazzling biodiversity, its often unsettling scale, and shows how these have shaped his life and work. He takes us by car, plane, and on foot through a variety of landscapes—Perth, Cape Range, Waychinicup—and shows us some of the world’s last remaining wild spots. And also, alas, many places ruined by the “colonialist mindset” of economic exploitation, which turned what Europeans perceived as “wastelands” into the real thing. For Winton, an environmental activist as well as a writer, this memoir is also a manifesto and a call to action; he honors the heroic Indigenous people who have never wavered in their dedication to the land’s intrinsic value, and he discusses the long fight to protect the Great Barrier Reef—at one point slated to become a limestone quarry—and hopes the day will come when Australia no longer has the world’s highest rate of mammal extinction.