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BBC Radio 3

2 March 2018

I talked to Seán Williams on BBC Radio 3's 'Free Thinking' about walking Europe's winds, and how the Foehn played a starring role in Swiss independence (with a little help from William Tell). Seán picked up on the themes of migration and nationalism that run throughout Where the Wild Winds Are, and was a perceptive and insightful interviewer. My bit starts at around 32 minutes. You can listen here.

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Dove soffiano i venti selvaggi

5 February 2018

I'm thrilled to announce a forthcoming Italian translation of Where the Wild Winds Are. The beautifully titled Dove soffiano i venti selvaggi will be published by the excellent Neri Pozza on 31 May. Buon vento!

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'Long and windy road' - review in the TLS

10 January 2018

'Poignant moments of calm amid the tumult, insights that capture the joy of walking alone...'

There's a thoughtful and generous review of Where the Wild Winds Are in the TLS this week by Clare Saxby. Glad she delves into the subject of the xenophobic undercurrents and 'climatic racism' I encountered on these walks from Croatia to the Swiss Alps - other reviewers didn't pick up on that theme so much.

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Where the Wild Winds Are – events and readings

1 January 2018

18th September – Mr B's Famous Walking Book Group, Bath

13th September, tbc – Macclesfield Lit and Phil Society, Macclesfield

12th July – Ways with Words, Dartington

23rd June – Convivium festival, Brecon Beacons

2nd June – Festival la Grande Invasione, Ivrea, Italy

1st June, tbc – Festival Boramata, Trieste, Italy

31st May – Festival le Giovani Promesse, Padua, Italy

30th May, 2018 – Launch of Italian translation, Milan, Italy

24th May 2018 – Bath Festival, Bath

5th May 2018, 12.15pm – Hexham Book Festival, Hexham

11th March 2018, 5.45pm – Words by the Water Festival, Keswick

1st March, 7.30pm – Maulds Meaburn Village Institute, Cumbria

22nd February 2018, 7pm – Ulverston Library, Ulverston

13th February 2018, 6.30pm – Whitehaven Library, Whitehaven

3rd February 2018, 3pm – Destinations: Stanfords Travel Writers Festival, London Olympia

20th November 2017, 6.30pm – Penrith Library, Penrith

19th November 2017, 4.30pm – Kendal Mountain Literature Festival, Kendal

18th November 2017, 6.30pm – Waterstones, Carlisle

17th November 2017, 7pm – Waterstones, York

24th October 2017 – Mr B's Emporium, Bath

15th October 2017 – Hungerford Lit Fest, Hungerford

13th September 2017 – Stanfords bookshop, Bristol

Image from book launch at Stanfords, Covent Garden, 6th September 2017 Read and comment

'He dares, and he wins'

14 December 2017

Michael Kerr has picked Where the Wild Winds Are for the Telegraph's 'Best Christmas books for armchair travellers', and said some lovely things about it in the process:

All travelling, Nick Hunt argues, is an act of following something: coastline, trading route, border — or footprints, as he did for his debut, retracing the 1930s walk of Patrick Leigh Fermor from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn. He decided to follow four named winds across Europe because their routes seemed to be the only ones that hadn’t been written-out. There are reasons for this, the obvious one being that it’s damned hard to describe the invisible. And what do you do if the wind doesn’t blow? Hunt, on his journey through landscape and legend, science and superstition, proves more than equal to the challenge. He dares, and he wins.

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Financial Times Book of the Year

3 December 2017

The FT has named Where the Wild Winds Are as one of its Books of the Year 2017.

Lovely!

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Review in the Spectator

9 November 2017

'Lyrical and scholarly in the tradition of ... Patrick Leigh Fermor.'

Hugh Thompson reviews Where the Wild Winds Are in this week's Spectator, alongside Tamsin Treverton Jones's stormy memoir Windblown.

You can read the full review here.

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Spectator Book of the Year

9 November 2017

The legendary Jan Morris has named Where the Wild Winds Are as one of her Books of the Year in the Spectator.

'...an example of the trend that has lately encouraged some particularly gifted writers to explore the profounder reaches of travel writing. Hunt’s contribution to the genre has at its epicentre not places at all but winds — five European zephyrs, whose characteristics, styles, legends, beauties and varied awfulnesses he exploits to compelling and entertaining effect.'

What an honour!

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Review in New Internationalist

27 October 2017

'The skew of our times and media means we in the UK now know more about seasonal tropical hurricanes than we do about the named winds of old Europe.'

There's a generous, intelligent and thoughtful review of Where the Wild Winds Are in this week's New Statesman by the great Kathleen Jamie.

My blend of travel and nature writing undeniably falls into the category of what Jamie calls the 'lone enraptured male' (a brilliant phrase), so I'm especially delighted that she liked the book!

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Review in Resurgence

25 October 2017

'For are not winds among the "great gestures" of our planet?'

A lovely review in the latest issue of Resurgence & Ecologist by sailor, writer and ecological pilgrim Peter Reason.

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'Exuberant, exhilarating' - review in the Telegraph

26 September 2017

Michael Kerr has given Where the Wild Winds Are a five-star review in the Telegraph. A few choice words:

'When the Helm howls, sensible folk run for cover. This north-easterly, which blows down Cross Fell in the Pennines, can knock walkers off their feet, hurl sheep around like pieces of wool and destroy stone barns. Nick Hunt, fortunately, is not among the sensible folk. If he were, we wouldn't have this exuberant, invigorating blast of a book...'

'Is he mad? Just a bit. Though he's an experienced walker, who for his first book, Walking the Woods and the Water, retraced what Patrick Leigh Fermor called his "great trudge" of the Thirties from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn, Hunt admits here a couple of times to striding out without food and with too little water. Excitement got the better of him. Of me, too. I couldn't wait for him to be swept off his feet.'

'With his debut, even while walking in Leigh Fermor's shadow, Hunt was shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year award. This time, he might blow the judges away.'

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'Let It Blow' - review by Jan Morris

11 September 2017

Jan Morris (author of Venice, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere and the Pax Brittanica trilogy, and one of the greatest travel writers alive today) has given Where the Wild Winds Are a fantastic write-up in the Literary Review. What a great honour.

I'm doubly delighted because of Jan's lifelong love-affair with Trieste, the melancholy and romantic Italian city on the shores of the Adriatic. This is where I began the second of my wind-walks, chasing the fearsome Bora over the Slovenian Karst and down the Balkan coast -- Jan has experienced the Bora many times, and has written about it beautifully in her own books.

The full review can be read here, and I can't resist pulling out some nice quotes below...

'This extraordinary work is a prime example of that contemporary genre, the ex-travel book.'

'Many of us have travelled across Europe, but as far as I know nobody has hitherto so deliberately explored the kingdoms of the great winds. Scientists, geographers, glider pilots, artists, poets and theologians have investigated and commemorated them, but travel writers never before. Hunt immerses himself in those Windlands and manages to give his readers a blast, a sigh, a shiver of each.'

'Full to the brim with learning, entertainment, description, scientific fact and conjectural fiction. It is travel writing in excelsis ... He says that he and his senses have been washed, scoured, scrubbed, frozen, heated, pummelled, pounded, downcast, uplifted and animated by the Winds. And so, in a way, have mine, by reading his book.

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