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.
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'Sixty Degrees North is a story that we tell, both to ourselves and to others. It is a story about where - and perhaps also who - we are.'The sixtieth parallel marks a kind of borderland. It wraps itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden and Norway; it crosses the tip of Greenland and of South-central Alaska; it cuts the great spaces of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, at the very top of the British Isles. In Sixty Degrees North, Malachy Tallack explores the places that share this latitude, beginning and ending in Shetland, where he has spent most of his life. The book focuses on the landscapes and natural environments of the parallel, and the way that people have interacted with those landscapes. It explores themes of wildness and community, of isolation and engagement, of exile and memory.In addition, Sixty Degrees North is also a deeply personal book, which begins with the author's loss of his father and his troubled relationship with Shetland. Informed by the journeys described, it moves towards a kind of resolution: an acceptance of loss, and ultimately a love of the place Tallack calls 'home'.
'it's a joy to read, its prose as clear as the light on the Greenland ice-cap. In the past year, I've read three or four books combining travelogue and memoir...this was the best' - Telegraph
'Malachy is a fine, sensitive writer with an eye for detail and a talent for descriptive prose' - Gavin Bell, Herald
'Tallack does travelogue well, acutely balancing fact and fancy, and he has a nicely febrile line in his own vulnerability' - Will Self, Guardian
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:||16th June 2016|
|Publisher:||Birlinn Ltd an imprint of Birlinn General|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, The Real World, 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