Island Dreams: Mapping an Obsession (Hardback)Gavin Francis (author)
Beautifully presented with illustrations of maps throughout, Francis’s meditation on the appeal of islands and isolation merges travel writing, memoir and philosophy to create a work at once intensely personal and truly universal.
SHORTLISTED FOR WATERSTONES BOOK OF THE YEAR
In Island Dreams, Gavin Francis examines our collective fascination with islands. He blends stories of his own travels with psychology, philosophy and great voyages from literature, shedding new light on the importance of islands and isolation in our collective consciousness.
Comparing the life of freedom of thirty years of extraordinary travel from the Faroe Islands to the Aegean, from the Galapagos to the Andaman Islands with a life of responsibility as a doctor, community member and parent approaching middle age, Island Dreams riffs on the twinned poles of rest and motion, independence and attachment, never more relevant than in today's perennially connected world.
Illustrated with maps throughout, this is a celebration of human adventures in the world and within our minds.
Publisher: Canongate Books
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 640 g
Dimensions: 221 x 162 x 25 mm
'Gavin Francis is a wonderful writer - thoughtful, engaging, immensely knowledgeable and supremely human.' - Bill Bryson
'For those who have missed travelling this year, and for anyone who has pondered the meaning of "isolation", there is an ideal present - a beautiful and highly illustrated book called Island Dreams, by Gavin Francis, exploring the place of islands in our psyche - from Lamu to the Lofoten Islands, the Faroes to the Falklands, Avalon to the Azores.' - Hilary Mantel
'An intoxicating voyage during which maps become fictions and fictions verifiable facts. Myths of returning and older legends carry us out in a shared fugue of obsession and release. Here is a worthy companion to the dream labyrinths of Borges.' - Iain Sinclair
'A thrilling book - beautiful and spare at once . . . A real achievement.' - Tim Dee
'Combines brilliant observation with personal revelation, literary examination and even philosophical contemplation . . . Full of intriguing insights, wonderful description, well-researched detail and interspersed with a large number of historical and contemporary maps, which adds to the immersive reading experience . . . A wonderful, thoughtful and endlessly engaging piece of work -- Doug Johnstone.' - Big Issue
'Not just a paean but a meditation. Drawing on psychology, philosophy and literature, Francis examines the appeal of separation and remoteness, and recounts his own trips over the years, to the Antarctic, the Hebrides and beyond . . . Filled with a cartographer's embarrassment of maps, while Francis elegantly and methodically asserts his case . . . He writes in brief, elliptical paragraphs, each as ornately designed as the diagrams that accompany them.' - The i
'In his elegant, questing book, flavoured by wide learning and deep experience, Francis offers a fresh look at a perennial paradox: whether we live gregariously in a city or remotely on an island, a part of us is always wondering and fantasising about the other.' - Philip Marsden, The Spectator
'An uplifting and nourishing voyage through time, oceans and lands. It will reconnect you with the daring, dreaming side of yourself.' - Kapka Kassabova
'In this charming and beautifully illustrated book, Gavin Francis asks important questions about isolation and connection, and considers the ways in which islands have been imagined and experienced by travellers through the ages.' - Malachy Tallack
'Composed of koan-like snatches of prose, [Island Dreams] wanders between memoir and literature, steered by Francis's adventurous past and eclectic reading . . . Illustrated with a gorgeous array of maps, pictures and diagrams.' - The Economist
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