Inhabiting a landscape, walking a landscape, writing a place and time.
Linda Cracknell is a writer of place and nature who believes in being alert, observing, and writing from the particulars of each experience. Engaging bodily with her writing, she is someone for whom getting mud on her boots, sleeping high up in the hills, or being slapped by salt water can all be part of her process. She follows Susan Sontag's advice to “Love words, agonize over sentences and pay attention to the world.”
In this varied collection of essays, Linda backpacks on a small island that is connected to the mainland at low tide, musing on the nineteenth-century Scottish writer whose character was shipwrecked there. She hikes the wooded mountain trail close to her home in winter snow—a place she is intimately familiar with in all weathers and seasons—and she retraces the steps of a multiday hike made almost seven decades after her parents trod the route together. She explores her inspirations, in nature and from other artists and their work.
Reading this collection will open your eyes to the world around you and how you can observe, take note, and later commit those notes and memories to written pieces that will evoke the place and time.
“A winning combination of memoir, travelogue and literary meditation.” Daily Mail
“With Cracknell’s writing, you don’t so much see the landscape as feel it.” The Scotsman
“Cracknell wonderfully explores the strange durability of the paths that we make in our lives, in our dreams and after our deaths.” Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland and The Old Ways
“A poignant and passionate memoir … a heartfelt exploration of the mental and physical landscapes that shape our lives.” Gavin Francis, author of Adventures in Human Being
“Not so much a book to inspire you to do her walks, but to challenge you to enjoy your own walks more. Refreshing, lovely, fun: good walking and good writing.” Sara Maitland, author of From the Forest and A Book of Silence"There is not a step taken in this book that does not engage the writer, and so the reader. To walk with Linda Cracknell is to explore landscape and memory … It is to be enriched by the compulsions of a lifetime.” Tom Pow, poet