Out of the Woods (Paperback)Luke Turner (author)
One of the year’s most original and striking memoirs, Out of the Woods is both a personal story of sexuality, abuse and depression and a challenge to how society judges and pigeonholes those experiences, particularly for men. Seen through the prism of a cathartic journey into Epping Forest, Turner’s story is unusual in its range and frankness - not least in providing a window into the seldom explored topic of bisexuality. It is a hypnotic read - at times dizzyingly so - that impresses in its nuance and subtlety.
Shortlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize 2019
A fierce, poignant and highly original memoir about sexuality, shame and the lure of the trees
After the disintegration of the most significant relationship of his life, the demons Luke Turner has been battling since childhood are quick to return - depression and guilt surrounding his identity as a bisexual man, experiences of sexual abuse, and the religious upbringing that was the cause of so much confusion. It is among the trees of London's Epping Forest where he seeks refuge. But once a place of comfort, it now seems full of unexpected, elusive threats that trigger twisted reactions.
No stranger to compulsion, Luke finds himself drawn again and again to the woods, eager to uncover the strange secrets that may be buried there as he investigates an old family rumour of illicit behaviour. Away from a society that still struggles to cope with the complexities of masculinity and sexuality, Luke begins to accept the duality that has provoked so much unrest in his life - and reconcile the expectations of others with his own way of being.
Out of the Woods is a dazzling, devastating and highly original memoir about the irresistible yet double-edged potency of the forest, and the possibility of learning to find peace in the grey areas of life.
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 260 g
Dimensions: 196 x 130 x 30 mm
Turns the nature memoir genre upon its head . . . OUT OF THE WOODS is a book full of poetry and pathos. More than anything it is a bold and beautiful study of how to be a true modern man - Ben Myers, THE SPECTATOR
This is a book to get lost in...A disturbing trauma narrative, it's also a work of delightfully low, pants-dropping comedy, and a learned meditation - Sukhdev Sandhu, GUARDIAN
OUT OF THE WOODS is a brave and beautiful book, electrifying on sex and nature, religion and love. No one is writing quite like this. I'm so glad Luke Turner exists - OLIVIA LAING, author of THE LONELY CITY
OUT OF THE WOODS had me hooked. Refreshing, frank, edifying, courageous . . . I was quite emotional by the end. Luke Turner is a serious thinker and a unique and important new voice - AMY LIPTROT, author of THE OUTRUN
Unflinching on relationships, the nature of obsession, lust, masculinity, faith and lost innocence. OUT OF THE WOODS is a very special book - BRETT ANDERSON
Truly beautiful prose... the candour and insightful scholarship Turner brings to his subject make it a very worthwhile read - Grub Smith, LITERARY REVIEW
OUT OF THE WOODS is emotionally and sexually charged, deeply moving, with hauntingly exquisite writing and an extraordinary command of language that draws you into the depths of the forest and Luke's struggles with bisexuality, religion and love. Such raw honesty is precious and makes for a powerful read. I feel like I want to bind this book in wood and keep it in a special place for when I return to read it again and again - COSEY FANNI TUTTI
OUT OF THE WOODS is like nothing I've read before - rich, honest, humane and thoughtful, it is utterly original and really gets into the bones - LUCY JONES
Turner mixes vulnerability with the sort of insight that comes only through a complex honesty - Sean Hewitt, IRISH TIMES
Honest, haunting and moving, OUT OF THE WOODS envelops you in its leafy, sprawling pages, and squeezes tight. Captivating and poignant - ATTITUDE
A transformative, brutally honest memoir which is unafraid to stalk the monster that hides in the darkest of forests. OUT OF THE WOODS is like the Brothers Grimm adapted by Derek Jarman and it is easily one of my books of the year - JOHN HIGGS
Achieves that tricky balance of feeling both deeply personal and totally universal - ESQUIRE
A compulsive and beautifully written debut: all those who loved THE OUTRUN should read it - Caroline Sanderson, Editor's Choice, THE BOOKSELLER
An important and moving memoir about the struggles of being bisexual . . . His brave, often poetic prose encompasses the pastoral, the confessional, and the erotic - Paul Edmondson, CHURCH TIMES
Sparkling with sexual energy and intelligence, OUT OF THE WOODS is both a timely reminder of the dangers of concealment and suppression, and a powerful testament to the redemptive power of - lovingly, determinedly - making what was hidden known - HELEN JUKES, author of A HONEYBEE HEART HAS FIVE OPENINGS
An unflinching and unsentimental portrait of place, spirituality and sexuality . . . Turner's is a memoir stripped of nostalgia - honest to its bones - and a bold reimagining of what nature writing can be - Jessica J. Lee, author of TWO TREES MAKE A FOREST
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