The Look Away (2018)
- 133 x 203mm
- Xylem Books paperback
Also available to order internationally from bookstores and online retailers.
Longlisted for the 2019 Portico Prize.
‘As if Samuel Beckett had written The Goshawk’
‘I am north of where I was. Go north. That was the imperative. Always north. Although the why of it is no longer clear.’
A wounded man in a fugue state hides out in a deserted north-country shieling, convinced that he is pursued. Over the days and weeks that follow, as no one comes to claim him, his mind turns from his pursuers to the hills themselves, and their other-than-human inhabitants. Gradually he is caught up in a drama that can have only one conclusion.
After nearly a decade of writing poetry and non-fiction, Richard Skelton has arrived at a form that is most like the music for which he is well-known: the slow accumulation of mood and atmosphere, the repetition of stark phrases, the bleak beauty, the loam and grit. In The Look Away, Skelton has written a powerful, intensely bleak, yet redemptive, novella that redraws mythic lines and repositions humanity in a more complex and ambiguous relationship with the natural world.