Canongate has scooped a personal memoir from Scottish writer and visual artist Amanda Thomson.
Megan Reid, assistant editor, acquired world rights to be/longing: understories of nature, family and home from Laura Macdougall at United Agents. Canongate will publish as a lead hardback in August 2022.
The book reflects on family, identity and nature and is about what it is to have and make a home. The synopsis states: "be/longing is a book about how we are held in thrall to elements of our past. It speaks to the importance of attention and reflection, and will encourage us all to look and observe and ask questions of ourselves, as it brilliantly weaves together writing on landscape and language, memory and home."
Thomson said: "I’m absolutely thrilled that be/longing will be published by Canongate, where it has found its natural home. be/longing started its life as an artwork I made called "dead amongst the living", which was about how important standing dead trees in a Highland Scots pine forest are to its healthy ecosystem. It has evolved into this book about the forest where I now live, about family and how those no longer with us still influence our lives and who we are, and how place, nature, art and identity intermingle. It has been a joy to work with Megan and the team at Canongate. I’m excited for the book to make its way out into the world."
Reid added: "Amanda Thomson is hugely talented and in this beautiful book, looking at family and memory, what it is to be an artist and what it means to belong, she brings something completely new to the nature genre. be/longing is poetic, thoughtful and honest, and Amanda’s love for the Scottish landscape and language shines from every page. I couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome her to Canongate."
Macdougall commented: "be/longing is an exciting new addition to the genre of nature writing, pushing the boundaries of the form and encouraging us to adopt a new, deeper perspective on the world around us. I can’t think of a better pairing than Amanda and Canongate."