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The Crossway (Hardback)
  • The Crossway (Hardback)
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The Crossway (Hardback)

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£16.99
Hardback 400 Pages / Published: 14/06/2018
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Waterstones Says

Over the course of the last fifty years, there has been a staggering and unexpected rise in the number of people undertaking the spiritual tradition of pilgrimage. After many years of mental illness, Guy Stagg made the extraordinary decision to become one of them, travelling from his home in Canterbury to Jerusalem. A record of his journey and an investigation into the pull of pilgrimage itself, The Crossway is a nuanced and affecting chronicle of travel and self-discovery. Already earning comparisons with Patrick Leigh Fermor, Stagg’s book is a classic work of travel literature: beautiful, meditative and illuminating.

Shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019

A BBC Radio 4 'Book of the Week' in 2018.

'The extraordinary story of a pilgrimage to find out the meaning of pilgrimage. Completely absorbing, personal, often funny, and full of fascinating encounters - an enlightening book from an exciting new writer.' - Sarah Bakewell, author of At The Existentialist Cafe

In 2013 Guy Stagg made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the journey after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres. The Crossway is an account of this extraordinary adventure.

Having left home on New Year's Day, Stagg climbed over the Alps in midwinter, spent Easter in Rome with a new pope, joined mass protests in Istanbul and survived a terrorist attack in Lebanon.

Travelling without support, he had to rely each night on the generosity of strangers, staying with monks and nuns, priests and families.

As a result, he gained a unique insight into the lives of contemporary believers and learnt the fascinating stories of the soldiers and saints, missionaries and martyrs who had followed these paths before him.

The Crossway is a book full of wonders, mixing travel and memoir, history and current affairs. At once intimate and epic, it charts the author's struggle to walk towards recovery, and asks whether religion can still have meaning for those without faith.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509844579
Number of pages: 400
Weight: 566 g
Dimensions: 224 x 145 x 43 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'A sublime, intense, and intimate account of a journey that becomes a kind of dream in search of solace and, perhaps, even a kind of faith. As the author walks on, across a continent, through history, time, the natural and human world - and the spaces in between - it is hard not to believe you are there, by his side. Beautifully written, filled with strange encounters and extraordinary language, The Crossway is a meditation, an escape, a confrontation, a losing and a finding. It is a timely antidote to our disconnected times.' - Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan

'The journey is remarkable - a hike of thousands of miles across Europe, undertaken with rare bravery and stamina. But what is really extraordinary about Guy Stagg's The Crossway is the writing - acutely sensitive, hyper-alert and unflagging in its exploration of the strange depths and by-ways of human belief' - Philip Marsden, author of Rising Ground

'I loved it. Odd that a journey made to find salvation (a kind of 5,500 kilometre Stations of the Cross taking almost a year to walk) should turn out to be such a page turner. The reason is Stagg himself - an engaging, challenging, endlessly interesting companion who just happens to write formidably well. Travel writing has a bright new star.' - Alexander Frater, author of Chasing the Monsoon

'Guy Stagg makes a pilgrimage across Europe, into history and, most powerfully, the (troubled) interior of his soul. He takes us on a journey full of wonder and woe, poetry and pain; writing in prose that's as sure-footed as it is unsettling in its honesty. A brave and beautiful account of a man's search for meaning' - Rhidian Brook, author of The Aftermath

'The extraordinary story of a pilgrimage to find out the meaning of pilgrimage. Completely absorbing, personal, often funny, and full of fascinating encounters - an enlightening book from an exciting new writer.' - Sarah Bakewell, author of At The Existentialist Cafe

'Behind the cliche of the most important journey in life being the one taken inside oneself lies a timeless and powerful and vital truth: that the goal of such a quest, with all its anguish and revelation and excruciating realisations, is a place of great and lasting calm. This is the core of Guy Stagg's necessary and beautiful book.' - Niall Griffiths, author of Grits

'What a privilege it's been to read this compelling and moving book, to travel with a writer who records everything he sees and feels with such care and passion. The writing is beautiful and his voice so engaging, so unflinchingly honest, throughout. I finished The Crossway and just wanted the author to keep walking.' - James Macdonald Lockhart, author of Raptor

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“Book review by Anthony Campbell: The Crossway, by Guy Stagg”

n 2013, following his partial recovery after a long period of mental illness, which included alcoholism and a suicide attempt, Guy Stagg set out on a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem, following medieval pilgrim... More

Hardback edition
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