Oneworld has signed a memoir by "moneyless man" Mark Boyle, recounting his life without modern technology on a smallholding in Ireland.
Developing ideas introduced in his Guardian column on the same subject, The Way Home: Tales from a Life without Technology will tell the full story of the year that Boyle decided to begin living without conveniences such as running water, central heating, electricity and everything it powers, mobile phones and the internet.
After building his own cabin by hand, he has to carry his water from the local spring and he has to grow, fish or forage whatever he wants to eat. What he discovers is a life of hard won joys, governed by the seasons – not an easier life, but one which brings a "deep insight" into what it means to be human at a time when the boundaries between man and machine are blurring, said the publisher.
Senior editor Alex Christofi bought world English rights to The Way Home from Jessica Woollard at David Higham.
Christofi said: "We are entering a new era in society: on the global scale we have these uncontrollable climate events like the heatwaves this summer or the Beast from the East, and on the personal level we are feeling ever more anxious and harried by the technologies that were supposed to make us happier. It would be easy to feel we have lost our way, and I don’t think there are many people out there who haven’t considered lobbing their phone into the Thames and starting over. The difference is that Mark had the guts to actually do it, and the memoir of his journey to rediscover a traditional lifestyle touches something truly profound."
Woollard said: "Boyle is an astute man who, like many of us has reservations about some of the trappings of modern life. In this funny, thoughtful and peaceful memoir he allows us to vicariously imagine what it might be like to try something different. Definitely a conversation starter."
The Way Home will be published in hardback in April 2019.