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August 2015 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
Follow the latitude line from Malachy Tallack's home on Shetland and you voyage to Greenland, Canada, Siberia and Scandinavia before coming home, a wiser and more grounded person. We learn more of his troubled background as he travels West, troubles that include the very notion of the idea of home and surviving in often marginalised and alienating environments. You need to be strong and self-reliant to survive in such lands, some like Siberian political prisoners had no choice others have been drawn to live in these lands. This journey reveals how landscape shapes us – has shaped Malachy Tallack, that national boundaries are just sketch marks on a deeper more meaningful division of land and sea. ~ Sue Baker
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The Magnetic North: Travels in the Arctic, Sara Wheeler
True North: Travels in Arctic Europe, Gavin Francis
The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds. Wrapping itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden and Norway, it crosses the tip of Greenland and the southern coast of Alaska, and slices the great expanses of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, where Malachy Tallack has spent most of his life.In Sixty Degrees North, Tallack travels westward, exploring the landscapes of the parallel and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory.Sixty Degrees North is an intimate book, one that begins with the author's loss of his father and his own troubled relationship with Shetland, and concludes with an acceptance of loss and an embrace - ultimately a love - of the place he calls home.
Growing up on Shetland, the author was always aware of its latitude. Sixty Degrees North was the name of his youth club, a local newspaper, a radio station, a type of beer and a skip-hire company. It made Shetland special and connected it to Greenland, Alaska and St Petersburg, to the mysterious, remote North. However, Malachy Tallack was a young man in search of an end to the waiting that had started when his father left him peacefully fishing by a lake and never returned, tragically killed in a car accident. His journey around the sixtieth parallel is a way of coming to terms with his loss and his life and an effort to feel himself at home on his return. For the reader it is of interest also as a travelogue, an informative, well-written and well-observed account of a visit to the peoples at the top of the world.
'It is a brave book ... and a beautiful book'
'Malachy Tallack is the real deal, a writer given over to pure curiosity, honest witness and that most precious of gifts, an unselfconscious sense of wonder ... not just a vibrant new voice, but a wise, questioning and highly sophisticated talent
'Elegant, meditative and wry ... Tallack takes the reader on some fascinating excursions
Publication date: 16/06/2016
Publisher: Birlinn Ltd an imprint of Birlinn General
Publication date: 15/06/2015
Publisher: Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General
|Publication date:||15th June 2015|
|Publisher:||Polygon An Imprint of Birlinn Limited an imprint of Birlinn General|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites, Travel,|
Malachy Tallack is a young writer and musician who has recently been awarded a New Writers Award by the Scottish Book Trust and an Artist's Bursary by Creative Scotland. He is currently being mentored by John Burnside. He has worked as a reporter on the Shetland Times and his writing has appeared in the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Scottish Review of Books, and in magazines such as Irish Pages, PN Review, Waterlog and Earthlines. In 2013 he launched The Island Review, an online magazine featuring writing and visual arts from islands all over the world.More About Malachy Tallack