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Hello! I'm Helen. I write for the New Yorker, London Review of Books, New York Times and the Guardian, where I have a column called The Nature of, in which I profile a different animal (or the occasional inanimate object) every two weeks. It has been read 2.8 million times in two years. I have twice been shortlisted for the Bragg Prize for Science Writing and my work features in three of the annual The Best Australian Science Writing anthologies. I live in Sydney, where I am a reporter on the Guardian’s foreign desk. 


My first book, a memoir called Freak of Nature, will be published by Scribner / Simon & Schuster Australia in 2024. I am represented by the Wylie Agency in London. You can read some of my writing below. 

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The New Yorker

A Syrian Seed Bank’s Fight to Survive (Anthologised in The Best Australian Science Writing 2022; Runner-up for the Bragg Prize for Science Writing)

The Making of Lebanon’s October Revolution

A Tiny Coral Paradise in the Great Barrier Reef Reckons with Climate Change (Anthologised in The Best Australian Science Writing 2019; Nominated for Bragg Prize for Science Writing, 2019).

The Legend of the S.S. Mendi

London Review Of Books

Diary: A City of Islands  

‘Part of the Family’

The Guardian


Column: The Nature of...

A Stingray; A Swan; The Moon; A Snail; A Cuckoo; A Christmas Beetle; An Oyster; An Elephant Seal; A Dragonfly; A Megabat; A Bee; A baboon ; A Praying Mantis; A Scottish Highland Cow; A Singing Fish; A Donkey; A Glow-worm; A Daddy Longlegs ; A Komodo Dragon; An African Painted Dog ; A Hummingbird Moth; A Narwhal; A Norwegian Lemming


Feminism and literature in China: Part one, Part two, Part three

‘China’s hottest woman’: the driving force behind crunchy chilli sensation Lao Gan Ma

Elsa Majimbo, the crisp-eating, straight-talking star of Kenya's Covid-19 lockdown

‘The Aussie scene is killing it’: Meet Erika Reid, Australian wrestling’s ‘dreamtime voodoo witch’

Nomcebo, the voice behind Jerusalema, South Africa's global hit

Opinion, reviews and culture:

Collected Stories by Shirley Hazzard
In the months my husband and I were apart, the world changed completely
What I learned from breaking my foot during a pandemic
She never forgot the fight. I never forgot the boots: my sister found an heirloom we thought was gone forever
Australia’s best beaches: Flat Rock, Bondi
How I fell in love with Badedas
The film Moonstruck
Braidwood celebrates bushranger past with replay of Clarke gang's capture


The New York Times

Australia’s Fire Season Ends, and Researchers Look to the Next One

Can the world’s strangest mammal survive? (front page, New York Times international edition; also published in The Seattle Times)

Some of Australia’s Smallest Species Could Be Lost to Wildfires (also published in The Independent and Seattle Times)

Lebanon, where eagle feathers fall like snow (front page, science section; also published in The Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune; and translated into Spanish)

In Lebanon, the Hyena’s Main Fear Is Fear Itself (front page, New York Times international edition; also published in The Independent)

Behold Mortichnia, the Death Trail of an Ancient Worm

The Monthly

The F45 gym revolution

Formal Night in Gunnedah

Saving Jabiru

Spheres of Influence

Take the Cake

The Sydney Morning Herald & The Age: Book Reviews

Michael McGirr: Books that Saved My Life

Barbara Kingsolver, Unsheltered

The Biographer’s Lover by Ruby J. Murray

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart: Holly Ringland's Dark Fairytale

Luke Slattery's 'imagined history' of the Macquaries

A Sea-Chase Review: Roger McDonald Takes to the Ocean in Search of Meaning

Hell or High Water: Sofie Laguna's The Choke

Troubled Times and Better Days for Three Writers

The Rules Do Not Apply, Ariel Levy

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