In a world governed by 'fake news' and where world leaders are dismissing 'facts', this statistically meticulous presentation of trends is vitally important to understand the world today.
A milestone of graphic reporting, this ground-breaking 'atlas with attitude' keeps pace with the speed of change with informed analysis and graphically analyses every key indicator and vital statistic of modern life.
New topics for this 10th edition include:
Climate change: Impact on human health and security, different scenarios, and the time left to change course
Terrorism: Number of terrorist attacks in each countryWeapons of mass destruction: Chemical weapons use in Syria
Peace: Agreements reached across the years
Democracy: Spread of democracy around the world
Minorities: Peoples under threat
A fantastic resource for anyone who likes facts, and takes an interest in our modern world.
“A fresh, opinionated history of all the brilliant women you should have learned about in school but didn’t”
Blending meticulous research with information gleaned from memoirs, diaries, letters, novels and other secondary sources, Bloody Brilliant Women uses the stories of some extraordinary lives to tell the tale of 20th and 21st century Britain.
Well researched and eloquently written, this is an original history book with something for everyone.
The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
'A beautiful, gentle exploration of the dark season of life and the light of spring that eventually follows' Raynor Winn, bestselling author of The Salt Path
'A peaceful rebuff to life in fast-forward' Guardian
Wintering is a poignant and comforting meditation on the fallow periods of life, times when we must retreat to care for and repair ourselves. Katherine May thoughtfully shows us how to come through these times with the wisdom of knowing that, like the seasons, our winters and summers are the ebb and flow of life.
£14.99A breathtaking mix of memoir, nature writing and history: this is Kerri ni Dochartaigh's story of a wild Ireland, an invisible border, an old conflict and the healing power of the natural world'A special, beautiful, many-faceted book' Amy Liptrot'
Kerri ni Dochartaigh was born in Derry, on the border of the North and South of Ireland, at the very height of the Troubles. She was brought up on a council estate on the wrong side of town. But for her family, and many others, there was no right side.
One parent was Catholic, the other was Protestant. In the space of one year they were forced out of two homes and when she was eleven a homemade petrol bomb was thrown through her bedroom window. Terror was in the very fabric of the city, and for families like Kerri's, the ones who fell between the cracks of identity, it seemed there was no escape.
In Thin Places, a mixture of memoir, history and nature writing, Kerri explores how nature kept her sane and helped her heal, how violence and poverty are never more than a stone's throw from beauty and hope, and how we are, once again, allowing our borders to become hard, and terror to creep back in. Kerri asks us to reclaim our landscape through language and study, and remember that the land we fight over is much more than lines on a map. It will always be ours but, at the same time, it never really was.
£20.00Despite the acres of speculation devoted to special advisers in recent years, from Alastair Campbell to Dominic Cummings, their role is much misunderstood. Who are the people Piers Morgan once called 'these miserable little creatures' and just how much influence do they have? Peter Cardwell served as SpAd to four Cabinet ministers, acting as media adviser, political fixer, troubleshooter and occasional wardrobe consultant. In this candid, compelling and frequently hilarious insider account, he takes the reader into the heart of Whitehall to reveal what the job really involves, from dealing with counter-terror emergencies in Cobra to explaining to the Justice Secretary what a dental dam is, to having your inside leg measured in a government office. Spells in Northern Ireland office add local insight to this amusing book.
Packed with advice on navigating the perks and pitfalls of the job, The Secret Life of Special Advisers will inform and entertain anyone who has ever wondered what these mysterious figures really do all day.
WINNER OF THE COSTA BIOGRAPHY Category Award 2018
'Superb. This is a necessary book - painful, harrowing, tragic, but also uplifting' Times
Little Lien wasn't taken from her Jewish parents - she was given away in the hope that she might be saved. Hidden and raised by a foster family in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, she survived the war only to find that her real parents had not.
Much later, she fell out with her foster family, and Bart van Es - the grandson of Lien's foster parents - knew he needed to find out why. His account of tracing Lien and telling her story is a searing exploration of two lives and two families. It is a story about love and misunderstanding and about the ways that our most painful experiences - so crucial in defining us - can also be redefined.
'Luminous, elegant, haunting - I read it straight through' Philippe Sands, author of East West Street.
THE #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
*now only available as £8.99 paperback *
The bestselling author of Seven Brief Lessons on Physics takes us on an enchanting, consoling journey to discover the meaning of time'
From Boltzmann to quantum theory, from Einstein to loop quantum gravity, our understanding of time has been undergoing radical transformations. Time flows at a different speed in different places, the past and the future differ far less than we might think, and the very notion of the present evaporates in the vast universe. With his extraordinary charm and sense of wonder, bringing together science, philosophy and art, Carlo Rovelli unravels this mystery.
Enlightening and consoling, The Order of Time shows that to understand ourselves we need to reflect on time -- and to understand time we need to reflect on ourselves. Translated by Simon Carnell and Erica Segre
Please note only paperback now available
**THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER** Yanis Varoufakis, world renowned economist, writes to his daughter to teach her the hazards of capitalism. 'Why is there so much inequality?' asked Xenia to her father. Answering her questions in a series of accessible and tender letters, Varoufakis educates her to what economics and capitalism is and why it is so dangerous.
Taking from memories of her childhood and a variety of well-known tales - from Oedipus and Faust to Frankenstein and The Matrix - Varoufakis turns Talking To My Daughter into an enjoyable and engaging read, without ever shying from the harder truths. Greece's former finance minister explains everything you need to know to understand why economics is the most important drama of our times. In answering his daughter's deceptively simple questions, Varoufakis disentangles our troubling world with remarkable clarity and child-like honesty, as well as inspiring us to make it a better one.
£7.99Where are we to begin? How are we to bring order into this multitudinous chaos and so get the deepest and widest pleasure from what we read?'Published for the first time as a standalone volume, Virginia Woolf's short, impassioned essay, How Should One Read a Book? celebrates the enduring importance of great literature. In this timeless manifesto on the written word, rediscover the joy of reading and the power of a good book to change the world. One of the most significant modernist writers of the 20th Century, Virginia Woolf and her visionary essays are as relevant today as they were nearly one hundred years ago.
Features a new introduction by Sheila Heti.
'The best book on teachers and children and writing that I've ever read. No-one has said better so much of what so badly needs saying.' Philip Pullman
Kate Clanchy wants to change the world and thinks school is an excellent place to do it. She invites you to meet some of the kids she has taught in her thirty-year career.
Join her as she explains everything about sex to a classroom of thirteen-year-olds. As she works in the school 'Inclusion Unit', trying to improve the fortunes of kids excluded from regular lessons because of their terrifying power to end learning in an instant. Or as she nurtures her multicultural poetry group, full of migrants and refugees, watches them find their voice and produce work of heartbreaking brilliance.
While Clanchy doesn't deny stinging humiliations or hide painful accidents, she celebrates this most creative, passionate and practically useful of jobs. Teaching today is all too often demeaned, diminished and drastically under-resourced. Some Kids I Taught and What They Taught Me will show you why it shouldn't be.
Paperback £9.99 from March 2020.
A former FBI hostage negotiator offers a new, field-tested approach to negotiating - effective in any situation. After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a kidnapping negotiator brought him face-to-face with bank robbers, gang leaders and terrorists. Never Split the Difference takes you inside his world of high-stakes negotiations, revealing the nine key principles that helped Voss and his colleagues succeed when it mattered the most - when people's lives were at stake.
'Filled with insights that apply to everyday negotiations.' Business Insider
'A stupendous book.' The Week'
Vanderkam is a world expert in time managing and productivity. Her insights, interviews and anecdotes weave together an argument that inspire us to creative lives that are not only productive, but enjoyable in the moment.
OLIVE & MABEL: two of the internet's favourite dogs!
ANDREW COTTER: one of our best-loved commentators.
In a year like no other, the antics of two beautiful Labradors, Olive and Mabel - along with hilarious commentaries by Andrew Cotter - lightened the darkest days of lockdown. With nearly 90 million views on social media, Olive and Mabel’s videos have resonated with dog lovers around the world.
Now, OLIVE, MABEL & ME tells the heart-warming story of Andrew's two famous Labradors. Olive - sensible, measured but always keen to roll in something she shouldn't. Mabel - endearing, slightly scatty but game for any adventure. Their star quality has taken the internet by storm and continues to give us all a much-needed treat in tough times.
Beautifully written, touching and laugh-out-loud funny, this is not only the story of Olive and Mabel but also the story of the love we have for our dogs and the boundless joy they bring us each and every day.
Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2020**Winner of non-fiction book of the year at the Irish Book Awards*'
I have come to think of all the metal in my body as artificial stars, glistening beneath the skin, a constellation of old and new metal.
A map, a tracing of connections and a guide to looking at things from different angles. How do you tell the story of a life in a body, as it goes through sickness, health, motherhood? How do you tell that story when you are not just a woman but a woman in Ireland? In the powerful and daring essays in Constellations Sinead Gleeson does that very thing. All of life is within these pages, from birth to first love, pregnancy to motherhood, terrifying sickness, old age and loss to death itself.
Throughout this wide-ranging collection she also turns her restless eye outwards delving into work, art and our very ways of seeing. In the tradition of some of our finest life writers, and yet still in her own spirited, generous voice, Sinead takes us on a journey that is both uniquely personal and yet universal in its resonance. H
With contributions by: William Boyd, Candice Carty-Williams, Imtiaz Dharker, Roddy Doyle, Pico Iyer, Robert Macfarlane, Andy Miller, Jackie Morris, Jan Morris, Sisonke Msimang, Dina Nayeri, Chigozie Obioma, Michael Ondaatje, David Pilling, Max Porter, Philip Pullman, Alice Pung, Jancis Robinson, S.F.Said, Madeleine Thien, Salley Vickers, John Wood and Markus Zusak
'You will see books taking flight in flocks, migrating around the world, landing in people's hearts and changing them for a day or a year or a lifetime. 'You will see books sparking wonder or anger; throwing open windows into other languages, other cultures, other minds; causing people to fall in love or to fight for what is right. 'And more than anything, over and over again, you will see books and words being given, received and read - and in turn prompting further generosity.'
Published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of global literacy non-profit, Room to Read, The Gifts of Reading forms inspiring, unforgettable, irresistible proof of the power and necessity of books and reading.
... And what it tells us about the Science of Language
This engaging book explores just how multiple languages are acquired and sorted out by the brain. . .
The definitive study of bilingualism and the human brain from a leading neuropsychologist
Over half of the world's population is bilingual and yet few of us understand how this extraordinary, complex ability really works. How do two languages co-exist in the same brain? What are the advantages and challenges of being bilingual? How do we learn - and forget - a language? In the first study of its kind, leading expert Albert Costa shares twenty years of experience to explore the science of language. Looking at studies and examples from Canada to France to South Korea, The Bilingual Brain investigates the significant impact of bilingualism on daily life from infancy to old age.
It reveals, among other things, how babies differentiate between two languages just hours after birth, how accent affects the way in which we perceive others and even why bilinguals are better at conflict resolution. Drawing on cutting-edge neuro-linguistic research from his own laboratory in Barcelona as well from centres across the world, and his own bilingual family, Costa offers an absorbing examination of the intricacies and impact of an extraordinary skill. Highly engaging and hugely informative,The Bilingual Brain leaves us all with a sense of wonder at how language works.
Every voice raised against racism chips away at its power. We can't afford to stay silent. This book is an attempt to speak'The book that sparked a national conversation.
Exploring everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race, Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race is the essential handbook for anyone who wants to understand race relations in Britain today. THE NO.1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE BRITISH BOOK AWARDS NON-FICTION
For those of who waiting eagerly for the new Hilary Mantel this Christmas perhaps? !
'This is the biography we have been awaiting for 400 years' Hilary Mantel'
Thomas Cromwell is one of the most famous - or notorious - figures in English history. Born in obscurity in Putney, he became a fixer for Cardinal Wolsey in the 1520s. After Wolsey's fall, Henry VIII promoted him to a series of ever greater offices, and by the end of the 1530s he was effectively running the country for the King.
That decade was one of the most momentous in English history: it saw a religious break with the Pope, unprecedented use of parliament, the dissolution of all monasteries. Cromwell was central to all this, but establishing his role with precision, at a distance of nearly five centuries and after the destruction of many of his papers at his own fall, has been notoriously difficult. Diarmaid MacCulloch's biography is much the most complete and persuasive life ever written of this elusive figure, a masterclass in historical detective work, making connections not previously seen.
Now out in paperback ( July 2019)
The investigative journalist Sam McBride takes an analytical and thorough look at the RHI scandal that engulfed Stormont. Well written.
02.11.2019 Please note this book is in high demand and is currently reprinting - please check before ordering that we have it in stock. *currently stock due 11 Nov* We will gladly add you to the wait list.
THE MILLION COPY BESTSELLER
Fire gave us power. Farming made us hungry for more. Money gave us purpose.
Science made us deadly. This is the thrilling account of our extraordinary history - from insignificant apes to rulers of the world. Earth is 4.5 billion years old.
In just a fraction of that time, one species among countless others has conquered it: us. In this bold and provocative book, Yuval Noah Harari explores who we are, how we got here and where we're going. `I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who's interested in the history and future of our species' Bill Gates
The extraordinary #1 bestseller - a word-of-mouth literary phenomenon'
Do not read this book in public: it will make you cry' Anne Enright'
I am afraid of being the disruptive woman. And of not being disruptive enough. I am afraid.But I am doing it anyway. In this dazzling debut, Emilie Pine speaks to the business of living as a woman in the 21st century - its extraordinary pain and its extraordinary joy. Courageous, humane and uncompromising, she writes with radical honesty on birth and death, on the grief of infertility, on caring for her alcoholic father, on taboos around female bodies and female pain, on sexual violence and violence against the self. Devastatingly poignant and profoundly wise - and joyful against the odds - Notes to Self offers a portrait not just of its author but of a whole generation.
Winner of the Bord Gais Non Fiction Irish Book Award in 2018.
Paperback, June 2019
£9.99Sally Field is one of the most celebrated, beloved and enduring actors of our time, and now she tells her story for the first time in this intimate and haunting literary memoir. In her own words, she writes about a challenging and lonely chilhood, the craft that helped her find her voice, and a powerful emotional legacy that shaped her journey as a daughter and a mother. Sally Field has an infectious charm that has captivated audiences for more than five decades, beginning with her first television role at the age of 17.
From the bestselling author of The Big Short. Michael Lewis shines his spotlight on what happens, or might happen, if those people in power, just decide to ‘not show up’ It’s a fast and riveting read about how constancy in administration needs to actually deliver for the country, and how in this Trump era that may not be happening.
How did we get to a place where bullshit is not just rife, but apparently so effective that it has become the communications strategy of our times? Written with the generous intelligent and wry humour that admirers of his broadcasting will recognise. Essential reading for anyone involved in communication.
Now available as £9.99 paperback ( August 2019)
**THE NUMBER ONE BESTSELLER**Sapiens showed us where we came from. Homo Deus looked to the future. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century explores the present.
How can we protect ourselves from nuclear war, ecological cataclysms and technological disruptions? What can we do about the epidemic of fake news or the threat of terrorism? What should we teach our children? Yuval Noah Harari takes us on a thrilling journey through today's most urgent issues. The golden thread running through his exhilarating new book is the challenge of maintaining our collective and individual focus in the face of constant and disorienting change. Are we still capable of understanding the world we have created?
Shaun Bythell runs one of the second hand and antiquarian bookshops in Scotland’s ‘ special place ‘ for books, Wigtown. This diary style account of life behind the till is grumpy, cynical - and hilarious.
Sunday Times Bestseller, a memoir about nursing and a call for compassion and kindness. A moving and honest account of the care that hundreds of nurses provide day after day.
Now in paperback £8.99
* THE NO. 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER *`
We watch Christie as she nurses a premature baby who has miraculously made it through the night, we stand by her side during her patient's agonising heart-lung transplant, and we hold our breath as she washes the hair of a child fatally injured in a fire, attempting to remove the toxic smell of smoke before the grieving family arrive. In our most extreme moments, when life is lived most intensely, Christie is with us. She is a guide, mentor and friend.
And in these dark days of division and isolationism, she encourages us all to stretch out a hand.
£14.99Join brilliant young naturalist Dara McAnulty - winner of the 2020 Wainwright Prize for his book Diary of a Young Naturalist - on a nature walk and experience the joy of connecting with the natural world on your multi sensory journey. This beautiful gift book, illustrated in full colour by Barry Falls, is divided into five sections: looking out of the window, venturing out into the garden, walking in the woods, investigating heathland and wandering on the river bank. Dara pauses to tell you about each habitat and provides fantastic facts about the native birds, animals and plants you will find there - including wrens, blackbirds, butterflies, tadpoles, bluebells, bees, hen harriers, otters, dandelions, oak trees and many more.
Each section contains a discovery section where you will have a closer look at natural phenomenon such as metamorphoses and migration, learn about categorization in the animal kingdom or become an expert on the collective nouns for birds. Each section finishes with an activity to do when you get home: plant wild flowers, make a bird feeder, try pond dipping, make a journey stick and build a terrarium. Dara ends the book with advice for young conservationists.
Rumour has it this anonymous teacher is from a Belfast school ... can anyone guess?!!
Twenty-five years a teacher. I could have committed a double murder and been out by now.' Ever wondered what life is really like for today's teachers? Reasoning that it's either laugh or cry, this author does both while intoning a mantra of 'July, July, July' and praying for a minor heart attack in return for a foot in the door to early retirement. From fending off inspectors to dealing with the alarming rise in mental health issues and increasing alienation of young people, it's fair to say the job has never been more difficult.
Written by an anonymous author working in a state secondary school, this uproariously funny, desperately necessary book takes us inside the classroom to see morale at rock-bottom and a system on its knees. Hilarious, heart-breaking and impassioned, Class War is about the importance of good schools and talented teachers at a time when they have never been more essential. Painting a heartfelt portrait of the profession and an education system where no one should be left behind but too many are, this book reveals there is laughter to be found even as a river of effluent is sluicing down the pipe.
Excellent and provocative... a passionate, timely book.' Sunday Times'A fine new book... thoughtful, deeply reported and impeccably even-handed.' The Times
Emerging from a collection of city states 150 years ago, no other country has had as turbulent a history as Germany or enjoyed so much prosperity in such a short time frame.
Today, as much of the world succumbs to authoritarianism and democracy is undermined from its heart, Germany stands as a bulwark for decency and stability. Mixing personal journey and anecdote with compelling empirical evidence, this is a critical and entertaining exploration of the country many in the West still love to hate. Raising important questions for our post-Brexit landscape, Kampfner asks why, despite its faults, Germany has become a model for others to emulate, while Britain fails to tackle contemporary challenges.
Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Why the Germans Do It Better is a rich and witty portrait of an eternally fascinating country.
£14.99Berlin, November 1938. With storm troopers battering against his door, Otto Silberman must flee out the back of his own home. He emerges onto streets thrumming with violence: it is Kristallnacht, and synagogues are being burnt, Jews rounded up and their businesses destroyed.
Turned away from establishments he had long patronised, betrayed by friends and colleagues, Otto finds his life as a respected businessman has dissolved overnight. Desperately trying to conceal his Jewish identity, he takes train after train across Germany in a race to escape this homeland that is no longer home. Twenty-three-year-old Ulrich Boschwitz wrote The Passenger at breakneck speed in 1938, fresh in the wake of the Kristallnacht pogroms, and his prose flies at the same pace.
Shot through with Hitchcockian tension, The Passenger is a blisteringly immediate story of flight and survival in Nazi Germany.
by Meriel Schindler (Author)
Kurt had made extravagant claims about their family history. Were they really related to Franz Kafka and Oscar Schindler, of Schindler's List fame? Or Hitler's Jewish doctor - Dr Bloch? What really happened on Kristallnacht, the night that Nazis beat Kurt's father half to death and ransacked the family home? When Kurt died in 2017, Meriel felt compelled to resolve her mixed feelings about him, and to solve the mysteries he had left behind. Starting with photos and papers found in Kurt's isolated cottage, Meriel embarked on a journey of discovery taking her to Austria, Italy and the USA.
She reconnected family members scattered by feuding and war. She pieced together an extraordinary story taking in two centuries, two world wars and a family business: the famous Cafe Schindler. Launched in 1922 as an antidote to the horrors of the First World War, this grand cafe became the whirling social centre of Innsbruck.
And then the Nazis arrived. Through the story of the Cafe Schindler and the threads that spool out from it, this moving book weaves together memoir, family history and an untold story of the Jews of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It explores the restorative power of writing, and offers readers a profound reflection on memory, truth, trauma and the importance of cake.
£14.99Gerry Hussey is Ireland's leading health and performance coach and founder of the incredible movement Soul Space. Here in his first book, Awaken Your Power Within, he brings us on an open, honest and mind-blowing human encounter that takes us inside the heart and mind of a young boy who dared to ask deeper questions about the mind and soul. With amazing insights, life lessons, and powerful meditations Awaken Your Power Within unlocks the truths about how we experience the world and shows us how we can break free from unconscious, self-limiting beliefs, habits, emotions and thinking patterns to reshape and reclaim our inner world, enabling us to live as our truest and most powerful self.
From letting go of the fear of not being enough, to overcoming the dis-ease of distraction, to opening up to a deeper level of consciousness, Awaken Your Power Within is a powerful guide for all ages, one which takes us on a path of discovery to a deeper understanding of who we truly are and the limitless possibilities of which we are all capable. 'You are an infinite being with infinite potential. All you need to do is open yourself to a new consciousness, a true vision of who you really are and awaken to the power within' Gerry Hussey
£12.99A deeply moving story of what it means to care for those we love - by bestselling author Kate Mosse, writer of Labyrinth and The City of Tears
'A truly beautiful book, shot through with honesty, heartbreak and joy. I loved it' Adam Kay
As our population ages, more and more of us find ourselves caring for parents and loved ones - some 8.8 million people in the UK. An invisible army of carers holding families together.
Here, Kate Mosse tells her personal story of finding herself as a carer in middle age: first, helping her mother look after her beloved father through Parkinson's, then supporting her mother in widowhood, and finally as 'an extra pair of hands' for her 90-year-old mother-in-law.
This is a story about the gentle heroism of our carers, about small everyday acts of tenderness, and finding joy in times of crisis. It's about juggling priorities, mind-numbing repetition, about guilt and powerlessness, about grief, and the solace of nature when we're exhausted or at a loss. It is also about celebrating older people, about learning to live differently - and think differently about ageing.
But most of all, it's a story about love.
But who wants spiders in their house? And what use are wasps anyway? Should we be worried by genetic engineering and windfarms? Biodiversity - what did it ever do for us? Does it mean the end of the world if the whales become extinct? Are global warming and climate change the same thing? What happened to the hole in the ozone layer? Is veganism the answer to sustainable food? What is carbon sequestration - just fancy words for trees? And why are carbon sinks so important? Is the mobile phone taking over our lives for good or for evil? How does a virus become a pandemic, and why? It's witty, down to earth and irreverant, yet covers so much important information - Linda
Anya Hindmarch is a mother of five, stepmother, entrepreneur and globally renowned businesswoman. In If In Doubt, Wash Your Hair, she shares what she has learned during her busy and eclectic life, what she still worries about, and what advice she has received along the way. From practical tips and quick fixes, to profound observations about confidence and creativity, this inspiring handbook will show you how to live a little better.
'Comforting, practical and beautifully personal. This book feels like your best friend telling you it's all going to be ok' Fearne Cotton'
Warm, friendly, and packed to the rafters with excellent advice - I loved it' India Knight
If you are expecting teenage fiction from John Green, this is not it! A mind-expanding collection of personal essays in the first ever work of non-fiction from him.
The Anthropocene is the current geological age, in which human activity has profoundly shaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this collection of essays adapted and expanded from his critically acclaimed podcast, John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet - from the QWERTY keyboard and Halley's Comet to Penguins of Madagascar - on a five-star scale.
John Green's gift for storytelling shines throughout this artfully curated collection about the shared human experience; it includes beloved essays along with six all-new pieces exclusive to the book.
In August 1939 the Irish travel writer Richard Hayward set out on a road trip to explore the Shannon region just two weeks before the Second World War broke out. His evocative account of that trip, Where the River Shannon Flows, became a bestseller. The book, still sought after by lovers of the river, captures an Ireland of small shops and barefoot street urchins that has long since disappeared.
Eighty years on, inspired by his work, Paul Clements retraces Hayward's journey along the river, following - if not strictly in his footsteps - then within the spirit of his trip. From the Shannon Pot in Cavan, 344 kilometres south to the Shannon estuary, his meandering odyssey takes him by car, on foot, and by bike and boat, discovering how the riverscape has changed but is still powerful in symbolism. While he recreates Hayward's trip, Clements also paints a compelling portrait of twenty-first century Ireland, mingling travel and anecdote with an eye for the natural world.
He sails to remote islands, spends times in rural backwaters and secluded riverside villages where the pub is the hub, and attempts a quest for the Shannon connection behind the title of Flann O'Brien's novel At Swim-Two-Birds. On a quixotic journey by foot, boat, bike and car, Paul Clements produces an intimate portrait of the hidden countryside, its people, topography and wildlife, creating a collective memory map, looking at what has been lost and what has changed. Beyond the motorways and cities, you can still catch the pulse of an older, quieter Ireland of hay meadows and bogs, uninhabited islands and remote towpaths. This is the country of the River Shannon that runs through literature, art, cultural history and mythology with a riptide pull on our imagination.
* signed copies available *