Thin Places

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Product Details
$25.00  $23.25
Milkweed Editions
Publish Date
5.51 X 8.58 X 0.87 inches | 1.0 pounds

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About the Author
Kerri ní Dochartaigh is the author of Thin Places. She has written for The Guardian, the Irish Times, the BBC, Winter Papers, and others. She is from the North West of Ireland but now lives in the middle, in an old railway cottage with her partner and dog.
Praise for Thin Places
"How does a person contend with coming from a place where suffering is part of its legacy? . . . It takes ní Dochartaigh many years to find her way back to the most important place of all: herself. Whether she's meditating on moths or birds or the vivid colors of her home country, it's her own perspective on the world around her that grounds her, soothes her, and offers solace."--Boston Globe

"A remarkable piece of writing. I don't think I've ever read a book as open-hearted as this. It resists easy pieties of nature as a healing force, but nevertheless charts a recovery which could never have been achieved without landscape, wild creatures and 'thin places.' It is also flocked with luminous details (moths, birds, feathers, skulls, moving water). Kerri's voice is utterly her own, rich and strange. I've folded down the corners of many pages, marking sentences and moments that glitter out at me. Wow."--Robert Macfarlane, author of Underland

"Luminous . . . For the author, who has suffered from alcoholism, depression, and suicidal ideation, the wild places surrounding her hometown help release her anxieties and bring her unparalleled peace. They have become her thin places. A beautifully written tribute to the healing power of nature."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"ní Dochartaigh's connection to the natural world [rises] every time her personal world seems about to sink. And it's in these moments where the writing is at its most revelatory."--Adroit Journal

"In writing that's ethereal and elliptical, [Dochartaigh] laments Ireland's collective 'loss of connection with the natural world' and cleverly uses this 'unwilding' as a warning about the threat of extinction faced by indigenous flora and fauna, and also as a lens through which to look at the toll of oppression and violence on humanity . . . By turns subtle and urgent, this offers a powerful and complex portrait of a land and its people." --Publishers Weekly

"'Where does the past cease?' ní Dochartaigh writes on the eve of Brexit in this deeply personal memoir that takes place amid a resurgence of division, violence, and uncertainty in Northern Ireland . . . Ní Dochartaigh's unique writing moves between a personal journey of healing, the fragility and importance of the environment, and a powerful call for peace."--Booklist"This raw and affecting work confronts a complicated inheritance with both grief and hope . . . With grace and a keen sense of history and the natural world, Thin Places pays complicated tribute to a troubled place and time."--Foreword Reviews"Luminous and achingly honest . . . The memoir's evocative style is riveting, layering images of the natural places where the author finds solace with the urban spaces where she lives most of her life . . . What Thin Places ultimately leaves us with is the courage to speak the unspeakable, even if our voices shake."--Gretchen Lida, Washington Independent Review of Books

"A beautiful and harrowing book about trauma, the potential to heal and the subtle magic of the wild. Kerri ní Dochartaigh offers us a fragile kind of redemption, full of truth and solace."--Katherine May, author of Wintering

"Part hymn to nature, part Troubles memoir . . . the two strands, one wondrous and elemental, the other violent and unsettling, sustained by the vividly descriptive prose. . . . Unflinching in its intensity . . . Thin Places is at heart a survivor's story located in the real and brutally Darwinian world of lived experience."The Guardian

"In Thin Places, Dochartaigh teaches as much as she muses, blurring the line between environmental nonfiction... and elegant memoir."

"Reflective memoir and folkloric tales weave together in this haunting evocative story of a childhood unfolding during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Prose that reads, at times, more like poetry captures the burning desire to find balance and peace within the heart and soul of an ancient land and its modern inhabitants. Superbly beautiful, raw, heartbreaking writing that takes its places among the stars."--BJ Hegedus, Postalworks

"Moving effortlessly between the generational violence of the Troubles and the redemptive solace of the Irish landscape, Thin Places is at once a searing meditation on trauma and healing, a wild celebration of nature, and a wise reckoning with the complicated legacies of history, identity, and language. It is a beautiful and haunting memoir; it sings its way into your blood and your bones, takes you by the hand, and leads you across arbitrary borders to the gaps in our world. It leaves you changed, scoured clean, and ultimately, hopeful for the future."--Rebecca Speas, One More Page Books

"An absolute gem of a book. Part biography and part natural history, it's wonderfully told, giving one a palpable sense of place as well as the history of Ireland through a prism of the natural world. Fans of Robert Macfarlane and Aimee Nezhukumatathil will be right at home."--Cody Morrison, Square Books

"Thin Places by Kerri ní Dochartaigh is luminescent. Blending nature writing, memoir and history, Thin Places is a quietly vivid yet disturbing and wondrous book about national, generational and personal trauma. She describes her family's experience during the height of the Troubles in Ireland and the terror inflicted on her family--one parent was Catholic, the other Protestant. But it's also a book about healing and how the natural world helped her process grief and loss and reclaim her identity and sense of home." --Michelle Malonzo, Changing Hands

"A beautiful, heartbreaking, but ultimately hopeful book about how borders, real or imagined, can have devastating real life consequences. And how the body and mind, ravaged by trauma, can be healed by nature and place. Thin Places is both a memoir, and a tale of nature as a healing refuge, with the history of Ireland woven throughout." --Alana Haley, Schuler Books

"Beautiful, contemplative, and stirring. Kerri ní Dochartaigh's memoir is a gorgeous meditation on borders of all types--between north and south; Protestant and Catholic; the physical and the ephemeral; trauma and health. Thin Places is a must-read for anyone interested in either the lingering specter of The Troubles or the stunning nature writing at which so many Milkweed authors excel." --Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop

"Raw, hollowed and in the end as Dochartaight says, hallowed--those are the descriptive words that first come to mind after reading this memoir of growing up during the Troubles in Derry Northern Ireland. Dochartaight is one of the most outspoken, brutally honest yet sensitive authors I've ever read. It is as beautiful as it is razor sharp and her descriptions of the 'thin places' within us as well as in nature will stay with you. The shadow crow that haunts her will visit your dream time. The beautiful descriptions of landscape and the nature that inhabits both this realm, the inner one, and the space between us and the healing that takes place when it is are breathtaking. Exquisite." --Maeve Noonan, Northshire

"Open-hearted and remarkable writing." --Mollie Mitchell, HearthFire Books

"Dochartaigh takes great solace in nature, and much of the book is a meditation on the beautiful landscapes and flora and fauna that surround her. . . . Passionate, moving and beautifully written, this is a remarkable account of trauma and ways to acknowledge and overcome it."--Sunday Times (UK)

"Acutely personal . . . Wonderfully evocative . . . This heartfelt memoir, with its message on the saving grace of nature, may speak to an even wider audience than it first imagined."Daily Mail (UK)

"A powerful, bracing memoir that asks what happens when a child grows up in a city that isn't safe . . . This is a book that will make you see the world differently."Irish Times

"Heady, bright and difficult to pin down. It is also redemptive. The Irish word for hope, we are told, is dòchas or dòigh, which holds, within its roots, glimmers of dóighiúil, the word for giving. Ní Dochartaigh takes that hope and gives it to us all."Big Issue

"What was Kerri ní Dochartaigh's burden as a child--to exist in 'the gaps between' the Catholic and Protestant communities in Northern Ireland--has become her gift as a writer. She is sensitive to the legacies of loss and trauma and highly attuned to the gifts of the natural world and the possibilities of place. This is a special, beautiful, many-faceted book."--Amy Liptrot, author of The Outrun

"An eloquent, moving work of politics, geography and the self. Full of wisdom and deeply engaging."--Sinéad Gleeson, author of Constellations

"It seems as if everything about life is contained within the covers of this astonishing book: politics, history, nature, language and of course, love. A profound and moving work of art. This is a really special book--certainly, I've never read one quite like it."--Christine Dwyer Hickey, author of The Narrow Land