October Book of the Month: The Outrun by Amy Liptrot

We don't often select a non-fiction title as Book of the Month - but when we do, it's because the book has blown us away and we think everyone should read it. Amy Liptrot's brave and evocative memoir, The Outrun, is a prime example.

Winner of the 2016 Wainwright Prize and shortlisted for the 2016 Wellcome Prize, the book has also been championed by Mumsnetters and we're delighted to announce it as our October Book of the Month. 

The Outrun charts Amy's return to her childhood home of Orkney after 10 years of living in London. She seeks to escape the chaos of city life and the trappings of alcoholism in the remote islands she was desperate to leave as a child. Once back there, she finds comfort in the isolation and resilience of island life, and begins her recovery. 

What makes this books so special is the way that Amy punctuates her beautifully lyrical descriptions of Orkney's stark landscape with candid and raw accounts of her fall into the wilderness of alcoholism. As she gradually learns a new way of life on the island; working for the RSPB Orkney tracking corncrakes and swimming daily in the bracingly cold sea, her wounds begin to heal.

What Mumsnet users said:

"An absolutely sublime read. She is an exceptional writer." - Scuttle22

"I read it and now wonder why I have never been to Orkney." - Hygellig

"I loved the descriptions of swimming and snorkelling, and finding the corncrakes." - Susannahmoodie

What the critics said:

"An exhilarating memoir... Anyone who has ever been unhappy or unwise will find much that resonates in this powerful, beautiful writing." - Cathy Rentzenbrink

"An uncompromising account of addiction and recovery played out against the blasted fields of Orkney. Liptrot's writing is strong and sure. The Outrun is a bright addition to the exploding genre of writing about place and our place in the natural world." - Observer

"A painfully honest look in a broken mirror, this memoir is intensely unsettling but also deeply peaceful." - Damian Barr

About the author:

Amy Liptrot has published her work with various magazines, journals and blogs, and she has written a regular column for Caught by the River out of which The Outrun has emerged. As well as writing for major newspapers, including the Guardian and the ObserverAmy has worked as an artist's model, a trampolinist and in a shellfish factory. The Outrun was awarded the 2016 Wainwright Prize and was shortlisted for the 2016 Wellcome Prize. 

Follow her on Twitter @amy_may, and Instagram @amymayyyy


Book giveaway:

We can't wait to share Amy's book with you. There are 50 free copies up for grabs. To apply, all you need to do is fill in the form below. If you're one of the lucky winners, please do join in the discussion about the book throughout the month and come and chat to Amy in her webchat on Wednesday 2 November. This giveaway closes on Monday 26 September. If you're not lucky enough to win a book, buy a paperback and join in too!


Webchat with Amy Liptrot:

We're delighted to have the opportunity to talk to Amy when she joins us to answer your questions and chat to us about The Outrun on Wednesday 2 November at 9pm. Come and talk to Amy on the night, ask her a question, or simply share your thoughts about the book. 

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Last updated: over 1 year ago