From the winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Highland Book Prize
What if the answer to ‘Where am I?’ is ‘heaven’?
In her late twenties, celebrated poet Jen Hadfield moved to the Shetland archipelago to make her life anew. A scattering of islands at the northernmost point of the United Kingdom, frequently cut off from the mainland by storms, Shetland is a place of Vikings and myths, of ancient languages and old customs, of breathtaking landscapes and violent weather. It has long fascinated travellers seeking the edge of the world.
On these islands known for their isolation and drama, Hadfield found something more: a place teeming with life, where rare seabirds blow in on Atlantic gales, seals and dolphins visit its beaches, and wild folk festivals carry the residents through long, dark winters. She found a close-knit community, too, of neighbours always willing to lend a boat or build a creel, of women wild-swimming together in the star-spangled winter seas. Over seventeen years, as bright summer nights gave way to storm-lashed winters, she learned new ways to live.
In prose as rich and magical as Shetland itself, Hadfield transports us to the islands as a local; introducing us to the remote and beautiful archipelago where she has made her home, and shows us new ways of living at the edge.