Indie publisher Saraband will publish Helen Moat’s memoir covering her 2000-mile cycle journey across Europe, in April 2020.
Saraband bought world rights to A Time of Birds: reflections on cycling across Europe from the author for an undisclosed sum.
Moat, the author of travel guidebooks and columns on ‘slow travel’, a regular contributor for BBC Countryfile and Wanderlust magazine, describes an "epic midlife challenge", said Saraband. "Reaching a crossroads in her daily life, she got on her bike and cycled across Europe, with her 18-year-old son in tow, to Istanbul. Together they follow the great rivers to the edge of Asia, meeting a beguiling cast of characters. Reflecting upon a continent shaped by war and peace, Helen recalls her own upbringing during Northern Ireland’s Troubles. Taking its name from the spirit of the author’s father – his lifelong battle with depression but also his love of birds – the book aims to ‘celebrate humanity in all its quirky individualism."
Saraband m.d. Sara Hunt said: “Twenty years on from the Good Friday agreement, Helen Moat’s painful memories of her childhood in an austere religious community during the Troubles inform her perspective on how conflict, division and fear affect people in lasting ways – as well as how healing occurs. Taking her inspiration from landscapes and birds as well as the camaraderie of the trail, this is a life-affirming account for our turbulent times.”