Canongate acquires Fleming's outdoor climbing memoir

Canongate acquires Fleming's outdoor climbing memoir

Canongate has landed Time on Rock, an outdoor climbing guide and memoir of self-discovery by Anna Fleming.

The book charts Fleming's parallel journeys of learning the craft of traditional rock climbing and the new appreciation of the natural world it brought her. Through the story of her progress from terrified beginner to confident lead climber, she reveals how placing hand and foot on rock becomes a "profound new way into the landscape".

The synopsis explains: "Fleming takes us from the gritstone rocks of the Peak District and Yorkshire to the gabbro pinnacles of the Cullin, the rhyolite crags of the Lake District, the slate of North Wales and the high plateau of the Cairngorms. Each landscape, and each type of rock, brings its own challenges and unique pleasures. She also shows us how climbing invites us into the history of a place, geologically of course, but also culturally and socially."

Simon Thorogood, editorial director at Canongate, acquired world all-language rights to the book from James Macdonald Lockhart at Antony Harwood. It will be published in spring 2022.

Thorogood said: "Anna’s book is a journey of self-discovery, but it is also a guide to losing oneself in the greater majesty of the natural world. Climbers and walkers will love it, but so too will the many fans of nature writing. We’re delighted to welcome Anna to the Canongate list." 

Fleming is a regular contributor to Caught by the River and has also published her work in various journals, magazines and anthologies. As well as writing for the Guardian, she keeps a regular blog, The Granite Sea, where she writes about her experiences of the natural world. Fleming is a qualified mountain leader who has also worked for the Cairngorms National Park Authority and completed a PhD with the University of Leeds. 

She said: "I’m delighted to be working with Simon Thorogood and the team at Canongate to bring Time on Rock to a wider audience. Adventure sports are sometimes seen as at odds with nature, so I want to show how rock climbing opens up a profound relationship with the natural world. With many more people taking to climbing over the last decade, including a remarkable increase in women’s participation, and with climbing set to appear in the Olympics for the first time, I am excited to share a story from the new generation of climbers."