Guardian Books to Watch 2022
Evening Standard Books to Watch 2022
Bookseller Editor’s Choice
Winner of the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature
‘A wonderful book – exhilarating and taut, fearless in its explorations of wildness, risk, motherhood, and the inner and outer worlds of the writer’ Jon McGregor
‘This book is beautiful’ Emma Jane Unsworth
‘Climbing gives you the illusion of being in control, just for a while, the tantalising sense of being able to stay one move ahead of death’
As a child, Helen Mort was drawn to the thrill and risk of climbing, the tension between human and rockface, and the climber’s need to be hyperaware of the sensory world – to feel the texture of rock under their fingers, how their crampons bite into the ice, the subtle shifts in weather. But when she becomes a mother for the first time, she finds herself re-examining this most elemental of disciplines, and the way that we view women who put themselves in danger.
Written by one of Britain’s most talented young writers, A Line Above the Sky melds memoir and nature writing to create what will surely become a classic of the genre; it asks why humans are compelled to climb and poses other, deeper questions about self, motherhood and freedom. It is a love letter to losing oneself in physicality, whether that in the risk of climbing a granite wall solo, without ropes, or the intensity of bringing a child into the world.
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