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Findings Paperback – 2 Jun 2005
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Prose essays of a sharpness of looking, and directness of thought, that will make them last a long time; some of the best writing out of rural Scotland for many decades. Jamie observes the extraordinary, alien natural world around her with a frank uncluttered candour, while nevertheless standing rooted in the middle of modern family life. (Andrew Marr)
Kathleen Jamie is a supreme listener. Her attention - to the beckoning calls of the peregrines that nest near her house, to the brimful darkness in the neolithic chambers at Maes Howe, to the mute appeals of embryo skeletons in a medical museum - has a directness that borders on the heroic. And in the quietness of her listening, you hear her own voice: clear, subtle, respectful, and so unquenchably curious that it makes the world anew. This is as close as writing gets to a conversation with the natural world. (Richard Mabey)
From the moment you meet Kathleen Jamie's words, you meet a passion for the environment, not as an abstract quality but as what surrounds her...the small birds in the garden, the landscapes of her native Scotland, even ordinary familiar domestic cares are illuminated with curiosity, affection, knowledge and a deep concern. (Rosalind Coward, writer and journalist)
It's surprising what you can find by simply stepping out to look. Kathleen Jamie, award winning poet, has an eye and an ease with the nature and landscapes of Scotland as well as an incisive sense of our domestic realities. In Findings she draws together these themes to describe travels like no other contemporary writer. Whether she is following the call of a peregrine in the hills above her home in Fife, sailing into a dark winter solstice on the Orkney islands, or pacing around the carcass of a whale on a rain-swept Hebridean beach, she creates a subtle and modern narrative, peculiarly alive to her connections and surroundings.See all Product description
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If you like contemplative, slow moving, walks through interesting places then this may be the book for you. There are no major cliffs to be scales, no desperate snowy landscapes, just accessible places where most readers could walk, but most probably wont.
The contemplation of darkness, peregrines, the endless call of invisible corncrakes and a collection of preserved anatomical specimens all provide a landscape for exploration. (With this last topic being, surprisingly, one of the best sections in the book).
I don't think this book says anything particularly new, but it does use some rather wonderful prose to explore familiar ground.
I really enjoyed reading someone else who noticed nature in a way I can relate to and who is able to describe it in a way that is not verbose or technical but somewhere in between. It certainly made my bus rides through Hampshire a little more wild and entertaining.
This book is no exception to that.
The subject, or short essays, that are in this book are not exclusively about the natural world, but most are. As she writes on the matter at hand, I feel her passion and her strengths, her weakness and doubts, and all the time I am amazed by the attention to detail that she has in her prose. It doesn't seem to make any difference whether she is writing about peregrines or her husbands fever, you feel alongside, seeing the things that she has seen, feeling the wind and smelling the sea.
This is effortless, exquisite reading.
This is another book to be savoured. Even if you don't have the opportunity to have adventures like Ms Jamie, even if you can't go out at all, these books will give you some of the pleasure of that experience. They have also made me think more reflectively on what I see around me every day.
Very highly recommended.
What I received was not a book of poetry, but a collection of several essays. Any way, I decided to start reading it. Soon I realised the intensity of observation of the writer not to mention the many ways she viewed the subject she was writing about.
Surely these essays would provide the inspiration for many poems. (Perhaps they already have) What an insight into the workings of thew mind of the author.
It certainly pays to keep an eye on 'The Daily Deal'
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