21 February 2014
An interview with me features in the current issue of The Bookseller. My book is officially 'free from Daily Mail/ UKIP-esque jingoism'! Glad they picked up on that.Read and comment
3 February 2014
The launch of Walking the Woods and the Water will be on Thursday 3rd April, at the London Review Bookshop in Bloomsbury.
I'm very happy to announce that I'll be joined 'in conversation' by Artemis Cooper, author of Paddy's biography and co-compiler of The Broken Road. Get your ticket early. There will be some merrymaking afterwards.Read and comment
20 January 2014
Condé Nast Traveller has featured my book as one of its 'Best New Travel Titles' -- chosen by Last King of Scotland author Giles Foden.Read and comment
15 January 2014
Walking the Woods and the Water has been chosen as Editor's Pick of the Month in The Bookseller -- very exciting news.Read and comment
30 October 2013
To coincide with the long-awaited publication of The Broken Road, I was interviewed by The Telegraph Travel a couple of weeks ago. You can read it online here.
In other news, the last draft of my own book is underway and going well (publication is still set for spring 2014). I’ve just got back from Romania after the amazing Transylvanian Book Festival, written up wryly and wittily by Thomas Hodgkinson in The Spectator here. More soon…Read and comment
27 June 2013
I'm thrilled to announce that, after a period of waiting and wrangling almost as long as the walk itself, I have a new publisher for my book. Nicholas Brealey Publishing will publish the story of my walk in spring 2014 under the title:
Walking the Woods and the Water In Patrick Leigh Fermor's footsteps from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn
Nicholas is an excellent editor with a sharp eye for revisions and changes and a strong sense of what my walk was about. Many thanks to him, and to my agent Andrew Hayward for believing so powerfully in this project.
Look out for updates on the book's progress over the next few months. There will be a new website before long, and talks and storytelling gigs coming up. My boots are shortly to feature in an art gallery in Brighton, along with some of the sounds from my walk... more on this soon.Read and comment
7 June 2013
The first-ever Transylvanian Book Festival is taking place in September. I'm very honoured to be included in a line-up of incredible authors including Artemis Cooper, Roy Foster, Jessica Douglas-Home and William Blacker.
As I hope the articles I wrote on the road made clear, Romania is a special place, from deep green Transylvania and the ghosts of vanished cultures to the wolfish Carpathian mountains. If you've never been before, this festival provides a perfect opportunity to come.
'Surrounded by beech and oak forests and the tranquillity of this great medieval landscape – the last in Europe – writers and audiences will have unrivalled opportunity for discussions and discoveries among the beautiful Saxon villages of Copsa Mare, Biertan and Richis. All three villages are linked by a narrow road along the valley with gentle rolling hills anciently terraced for vines, rising on either side...'
You can find out more, and book tickets, here.Read and comment
20 April 2013
If you're free and in London on 11th May, I'm taking part in Up Down and Across -- an evening of talks, performances and art about walking in Westminster Reference Library.
I'll be talking about roads, landscape, stories and other things relating to my walk to Istanbul. Other participants are mountaineer David Lintern, performer Ingrid Plum, artist Foster Spragge and photographer Tim Mitchell, who's launching his limited edition photobook 'Up & Down the Pyrenees.' All proceeds from the event go to the music education charity Soundmix and the conservation charity The John Muir Trust.Read and comment
20 February 2013
My feet came into intimate contact with the road on the final miles to Istanbul. Here are my boots after two and half thousand miles.
These glamorous portraits were taken by my friend Tim Mitchell, photographer and Pyrenean walker.Read and comment
21 January 2013
Hello folks. To announce: I'm nearing the end of the first draft of my book about these travels. But in the meantime, I have another book to flog! Loose Words is a limited edition paperback -- lovingly homemade and hand-bound -- containing quotations from some of the weird and wonderful people I met on the road. I can make and send you a copy for the price of £8.00.
For an additional few quid, I'll include a CD of 'Loose Noises' -- the soundscapes of church bells, street musicians, political rallies, snarling dogs and drunken Bulgarian mountain songs I recorded on my journey. It's seven and a half months of walking compressed into forty minutes of sound.
Limited edition copy of Loose Words: £8.00
Loose Words plus 'Loose Noises' CD: £11.00
(inclusive of postage)
Email me at email@example.com to place an order. Thanks, all. xRead and comment
18 October 2012
Last night I was at the book launch for Artemis Cooper's amazing biography of Patrick Leigh Fermor, An Adventure. I was honoured to be interviewed, alongside Colin Thubron and Robert MacFarlane, for the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 -- you can hear it here.
It was wonderful to gather with people who knew and loved him well. Artemis told me she keeps the postcard I sent her from Heidelberg's Roten Ochsen Inn inside her first-edition copy of A Time of Gifts. That means a lot.
The evening made me think a lot about what I'm setting out to do with my own writing. As reviews like this make clear, Paddy was a towering figure both in literature and in life, and his presence over my work could perhaps be seen as daunting. But last night really helped bring home what my book is about, and what it's not.
For a start, it's not biographical. I'm not writing about Paddy, or even writing about his writing, but about his journey and all the wonder, mystery, wildness and adventure that it opened up for me.
It's not about history, as such. Obviously history underlay every step I took on the road -- history was in every hill I climbed, and every face I saw. Of course I'm writing with awareness of immense historical change, and much of my journey involved searching through history's rubble, both in reality and in imagination. But a book can be saturated in history without being a 'book about history.' I'm less concerned with 'history' than with 'stories,' and especially with the border -- far more porous than we know -- between history and myth.
Colin Thubron spoke last night of how Paddy is 'a marvellous example of somebody who can't be followed.' This is in my mind as I write -- following the unfollowable. I did follow Paddy's path, but where it leads me will be somewhere else entirely. I followed his route, but the journey is my own. I have to let my story tell itself -- and afterwards, when it's told, I can let Paddy's presence back in to illuminate what it needs to.
Now I'm six rough chapters into my book, and have retraced my own journey as far as Budapest. I'm loving every minute of it.
Expect updates soon on publishing news. Until then, I strongly recommend you buy a copy of Artemis' book. It's a journey in itself.Read and comment