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Travel & Adventure, Travel Writing, Adventure & Guides
Publication Date
13 July 2015
Hardback (also available as an eBook)
In stock
Birlinn Ltd

Sixty Degrees North

Around the World in Search of Home

Shortlisted for the Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year Award

by Malachy Tallack - Find out more about the author



eBook also available from the iBookstore

‘It is a brave book . . . and a beautiful book’ – Robert Macfarlane

‘Malachy Tallack is the real deal, a writer given over to pure curiosity, honest witness and that most precious of gifts, an unselfconscious sense of wonder . . . not just a vibrant new voice, but a wise, questioning and highly sophisticated talent’ – John Burnside

‘Elegant, meditative and wry . . . Tallack takes the reader on some fascinating excursions’ – Gavin Francis

'a subtle, thoughtful study of life on the sixtieth parallel’, ‘I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learnt a lot' – Sara Wheeler, Financial Times

‘There is compelling honesty and much wisdom in Tallack's brave adventure’, ‘Malachy is a fine, sensitive writer with an eye for detail and a talent for descriptive prose' – Gavin Bell, Herald

'nothing short of remarkable... he takes the brave step of putting himself right at the heart of the story, using his own experiences to ask searching, never-less-than fascinating questions about identity, homecoming and what it means to truly belong to a place... For anyone with an interest in how we construct answers to that most straightforward-seeming of questions – “where are you from?” – it is essential reading' – Roger Cox, Scotland on Sunday

'This is a beautifully introspective book about the search for home and identity amidst the changes of time and the trappings of place' – Rebecca Foster, Nudge Book

'Tallack’s story is brave and honest, while also deeply moving' – Scottish Field

'It's a joy to read, its prose as clear as the light on the Greenland ice-cap' – Michael Kerr, Telegraph

'This is a rather touching read; an act of mourning as much as a travel book' – Geographical

'fabulously well-written, gripping and full of emotion, as well as humour, this profound memoir is a great read' – Scotland Outdoors (Book of the Month)

'There is much to admire in the poetic writing of the tale' – Dundee University Review of the Arts

The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds. Wrapping itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden and Norway, it crosses the tip of Greenland and the southern coast of Alaska, and slices the great expanses of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, where Malachy Tallack has spent most of his life.

In Sixty Degrees North, Tallack travels westward, exploring the landscapes of the parallel and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory.

Sixty Degrees North is an intimate book, one that begins with the author’s loss of his father and his own troubled relationship with Shetland, and concludes with an acceptance of loss and an embrace – ultimately a love – of the place he calls home.

Malachy Tallack has written for the New Statesman, the Guardian, the Scottish Review of Books, Caught By the River and many other publications, online and in print. He won a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust in 2014, and the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2015. As a singer-songwriter he has released four albums and an EP, and performed in venues across the UK. He is editor of the online magazine The Island Review, and co-editor of Fair Isle: Through the Seasons. He is from Shetland, and currently lives in Glasgow.

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