The Outrun: A Memoir (Paperback)
“It’s wild writing: sexy, unguarded, raw, and ardent … highly recommended.”—The Millions
After a decade of heavy partying and hard drinking in London, Amy Liptrot returns home to Orkney, a remote island off the north of Scotland. The Outrun maps Amy’s inspiring recovery as she walks along windy coasts, swims in icy Atlantic waters, tracks Orkney’s wildlife, and reconnects with her parents, revisiting and rediscovering the place that shaped her.
A Guardian Best Nonfiction Book of 2016
Sunday Times Top Ten Bestseller
New Statesman Book of the Year
About the Author
Amy Liptrot received the Wainwright Prize for nature writing and the PEN Ackerley Prize for memoir for The Outrun. Formerly a writer for Orkney Today, editor of the Edinburgh Student, an artist’s model, and a trampolinist, she lives in Yorkshire.
A stunning, wild, and gracefully rendered account of life in the Scottish hinterlands.
— San Francisco Chronicle
Lyrical, transitioning from the rush of drinking into the raw sensations of island life.
Uncompromising and lyrical … The Outrun is a bright addition to the exploding genre of writing about place and our place in the natural world.
A lyrical, brave memoir.… It’s this aptitude Liptrot has for marrying her inner-space with wild outer-spaces that makes her such a compelling writer—and one to watch.
Luminous.… Fresh, clear-eyed and unflinching.
— Sunday Times
[T]he sheer sensuality of Liptrot’s prose and her steely resolve immediately put her right up there with the best of the best. Liptrot is an Orcadian warrior with the breeze in her blood and poetry in her fingers, and The Outrun equals works by fellow islanders such as George Mackay Brown and Peter Maxwell Davies. It may even be a future classic.
— New Statesman
Amy Liptrot has lived her life on the edge of things, both literally and metaphorically. The Outrun, her beautiful first book, gives a wonderfully evocative account of both, blending searing memoir with sublime nature writing, and coming up with a unique piece of prose that amounts to a stirring personal philosophy of how to live. Her descriptive writing of the [Orkney] islands and their wildlife absolutely sizzles, a scintillating mix of clear-eyed insight and poetic heart.
— Independent on Sunday
Whether [Liptrot]… writes of walking along the wind-scoured coasts or taking polar-bear dips in the icy waters, her prose is spare, lean, and beautiful, much like the country about which she writes.
This magnificent memoir is a record of transformation in its truest sense… Orkney legends tell of seals changing into humans, but, here, Liptrot is the shape-shifter, peeling off her wetsuit like blubber after snorkeling in the ice-cold sea.
— Publishers Weekly
Worth reading for the descriptions of life on a ‘beautiful, barely touched stretch of land.’
— Kirkus Reviews