Islander: A Journey Around Our Archipelago Paperback – 3 May 2018
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'A wonderfully warm-hearted social, natural and above all literary history of the islands that surround the larger island of Britain... a thing of real beauty [with] lucid, meticulous prose... It's rare to read a book as good-spirited as this, where the narrative voice is so eager, inquisitive but non-judgemental, the worldview so benevolent and open-hearted... Brimming with nature, literature and the eccentric life of the islanders Barkham meets, this is a fitting tribute to the strangeness and beauty of our British isles' -- Financial Times
'Barkham is blessed with a talent far rarer in nature writers than a corncrake in Surrey -- he has a wonderful sense of humour and can be very funny... He also has an eye for the quirky and counterintuitive in the human world... Islander is a charming attractive book... his shrewd study of the islander mentality [...] could stand for the entire country' -- Spectator
'Barkham's vibrant travel book [...] unearths a rich vein of history... Full of fascinating detail, his book succeeds superbly in conveying the difficulties and allure of island living' -- Sunday Times
'Lively... memorable... As an accomplished writer of natural history, Barkham is at his best in this book on flora and fauna' -- Guardian
'An extraordinary book' -- Steve Wright in the Afternoon,BBC Radio 2
'Barkham's place writing makes the book's setting a joy... This insightful and beguiling book is a great guide and tribute to our [islands]' -- Observer
'Barkham, a lovely, fluid writer [...] has a wonderful eye for detail... This is poetry' -- Daily Mail
'It is very rare for me to read a book and think, gosh I really hope the author writes a sequel... it is an achievement to find something new to say, particularly about the Western Isles and Orkney... Barkham has a keen eye [and his] triumph is to write a book about islands that is more concerned with politics than periwinkles... A complet delight' -- Scotland on Sunday
'Thoughtful naturalist Patrick Barkham [...] explores not only some of the UK's 6,289 smaller offshoots but also the notion of what it is to belong on one' -- Wanderlust
'Tremendous... [The islanders'] stories, so beautifully told, are the lifeblood of this wonderful book' ---- BBC Countryfile Magazine
Barkham visits all sorts of weird and wonderful people on each land and paints a vivid and at times idiosyncratic picture of life cut off from mainland Britain, but he also seriously examines the perennial appeal of island life for many. Barkham is an engaging guide... [whose] strengths are his evocative nature writing and his literary research' ---- Big Issue
'Like the water between his islands, Barkham's books shimmers -- with curiosity, wisdom, cleverness, and wonder. He's shrewd, merry and generous; a splendid shipmate and yarn-spinner, and the perfect companion as you shuffle together along a beach' -- Charles Foster
'Enchanting and lyrical, Islander is a book of many wonders; a book of coasts and heartlands, of peripheries and interiors -- and a profoundly moving portrait of our natural world' ---- Nicholas Crane --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Patrick Barkham was born in 1975 in Norfolk and is Natural History Writer for the Guardian. He is the author of The Butterfly Isles, which was shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize; Badgerlands, which was also shortlisted for the Ondaatje Prize and the Wainwright Prize, and Coastlines. He lives in Norfolk.
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