About

Ms. Whitty knows animals; she knows the Earth’s remote and wild places. For fiction she mixes that impeccable authority with a lyrical imagination.
— The Dallas Morning News

Julia's worn many hats since the baby bonnets that kept her warm in her birthplace at 8,612 feet (2,625 meters) in the Andes, in Bogotá, Colombia. Her mother, from Calcutta, India, knit wool covers to fend off the chill. Her father, from Tasmania, Australia, passed along a hat-loving gene originating in Ireland.

Since those bonnets she's worn a writer's beanie (fiction and nonfiction), a documentary filmmaker's cap (more than 70 nature docs), and—farther back in time—brims for professional theater and science. She currently wears the crash helmet of environmental correspondent at Mother Jones magazine.


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Julia's latest book Deep Blue Home: An Intimate Ecology of Our Wild Ocean (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2010) was chosen a Washington Post Best of Nonfiction book, and a finalist for the Orion Award, the Commonwealth Club Award, and the Northern California Book Award.

Her book The Fragile Edge: Diving & Other Adventures in the South Pacific (Houghton Mifflin 2007) was the recipient of the John Burroughs Medal Award for outstanding natural history book, the PEN USA for creative nonfiction, the Kiriyama Prize for nonfiction, the Northern California Book Awards for creative nonfiction, and a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

Her first book A Tortoise for the Queen of Tonga: Stories (Houghton Mifflin 2002) was a winner of an O. Henry Award, the Rona Jaffe Foundations Writers Award, the Bernice Slote Award for fiction, and a runner-up for the PEN/Hemingway Award. 

Julia's short fiction has appeared in Harper's, The Paris Review, Zoetrope, Story, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Calyx, and elsewhere.

Her essays have appeared in Harper'sThe Paris ReviewMother JonesOnEarth, the Los Angeles Times, and elsewhere, where they've won a Society of Environmental Journalists Award, a John Bartlow Martin Award for Public Interest Magazine Journalism, a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism, and have shared in a Mother Jones's National Magazine Award for general excellence, along with being short-listed three times for other National Magazine Awards. Her work has been anthologized in the Best American Science Writing 2011 and elsewhere.

Julia is currently a blogger at Deep Blue Home and Mojo Blue Marble. A former filmmaker, her more than 70 nature documentaries have aired on PBS, Nature, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic,  Outdoor Life Channel, Arts & Entertainment, and with many other broadcasters worldwide.

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Air bubbles freed from the melting of the submerged iceberg rise and bob against this freshwater cap, dimpling the surface, as if rain were falling upward from underwater. The illusion is reinforced by the spritzing we receive from the bubbles bursting and exhaling their 15,000-year-old air.
— Julia Whitty, Deep Blue Home