Low Country: Brexit on the Essex Coast

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Shortlisted for the New Angle Prize for Literature, 2019

“A journey through Essex; a travelogue, a mapping of the history of the region and also an unrolling of Britain set against the backdrop of Brexit. It’s a gripping narrative and the photographs which accompany the text are beautiful additions to the story.” – New Angle judging panel

“We are given a rich sense of the wonders of the Essex coast” – James Canton, Times Literary Supplement

“A wide-raging and fascinating book taking in people, political and newsworthy events, and the changing industry, landscape and use of the coastal region.” – Caught by the River

“Expansive, accessible and democratic writing about place.” – Lost blog

Further reviews from Ken Worpole, who has written about Low Country on his excellent blog, and the Psychogeographical Review.

Low Country is a book of landscape writing, photographs and politics. Here’s the video trailer. In 2016 and 2017 I walked around the entire coast of Essex, all 350 miles of it. The low, marshy land is stunning – so remote, yet so close to London. But as Brexit and Donald Trump arrived on the scene, the hallucinatory setting began to match the bizarre political weather. As I walked, I realised that much of what is playing out on the international stage is mirrored in the extremes and divisions of this much maligned county, so I went looking for answers. Available for order here.

This is a blog I wrote about the Essex coast in the run up to Brexit: Thirty Days to Brexit: Walking the Political Landscape

 

Album review: Hannah Peel and Will Burns – Chalk Hill Blue

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Troubled landscapes of England and the mind: my review for The Quietus of the new album from Hannah Peel and Will Burns.

Theatre blog: Cyprus Avenue

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Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland; Directed by Vicky Featherstone; Stephen Rea as Eric Miller; Chris Corrigan as Slim; Jerwood Theatre Upstairs; Royal Court Theatre, London, UK; 5 April 2016

Plenty of people won’t be forgetting this in a hurry: David Ireland’s black comedy Cyprus Avenue at the Royal Court Theatre.