Weidenfeld and Nicolson has acquired a memoir, Out of the Woods, by Luke Turner to publish in 2019. The book deals with issues of depression and guilt surrounding his identity as a bisexual man and, focused in part on London’s Epping Forest, describes how the author was at last able to come to terms with his own way of being among the trees.
Jenny Lord publishing director for Weidenfeld & Nicolson non-fiction, acquired world rights in an exclusive deal with Natalie Galustian at DHH Literary Agency.
In the book, Turner, who is a writer and editor based in London, explores the breakdown of the most significant relationship of his life, as well as experiences of sexual abuse and his religious upbringing. Having initally begun as a historical exploration of Epping Forest, the book goes deeper to explore concepts of masculinity and sexuality, civilisation and wilderness; it reveals how Turner sought refuge and comfort in nature during a difficult time in his life and how he discovered our forests may be the place to let out "a wilder, truer, more spiritual self".
Lord said: "Luke is a writer I have been watching and admiring from afar for some time and I am delighted that we will publish his beautiful, insightful and incredibly moving memoir at Weidenfeld & Nicolson. In recent years, the B in LGBTIQ has been curiously ignored within the cultural landscape – Luke has a great deal to say, and an extraordinarily powerful voice with which to say it."
Turner said: "What began as a simple look at the history of a small forest to the edge of London has, with Jenny’s encouragement, become something very different. I’m looking forward to working with her and the rest of the W&N team on a book that I hope will bring both the sexual and mystical back into the forests, as well as being a letter to my 14-year-old self, telling him everything is going to be OK."
Turner is a the co-founder of The Quietus, an online music magazine where he also runs a regular podcast and radio show. He has also contributed to the Guardian, Dazed & Confused, Vice, the BBC, NME, Q, Mojo, Monocle, Nowness and Somesuch Stories, among other publications.
Out of the Woods will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in hardback and e-book in February 2019.