07 December 2018
Adam Weymouth in Alaska

Travel author Adam Weymouth has won the £5,000 Sunday Times/Peters Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year Award for Kings of the Yukon, published by Particular Books.

Written during a four-month canoe trip down the Yukon river, this captivating, lyrical account of an epic voyage was called 'dazzling, often in unexpected ways' by judges.

The Yukon River is almost 2,000 miles long, flowing through Canada and Alaska to the Bering Sea. Setting out to explore one of the most ruggedly beautiful and remote regions of North America, Adam Weymouth journeyed by canoe on a four-month odyssey through this untrammelled wilderness, encountering the people who have lived there for generations. The Yukon's inhabitants have long depended on the king salmon who each year migrate the entire river to reach their spawning grounds. Now the salmon numbers have dwindled, and the encroachment of the modern world has changed the way of life on the Yukon, perhaps for ever.

Weymouth's searing portraits of these people and landscapes offer an elegiac glimpse of a disappearing world. Kings of the Yukon is an extraordinary adventure, told by a powerful new voice.

Image from Kings of the Yukon

Sunday Times literary editor Andrew Holgate commented on Weymouth's significance in the future: 'I’ve never seen such a strong and excited consensus among the judges for a winner… Weymouth combines acute political, personal and ecological understanding, with the most beautiful writing reminiscent of a young Robert Macfarlane...He is, I have no doubt, a significant voice for the future.'

Fellow judge, author Kamila Shamsie added: 'Adam Weymouth is a wonderful travel writer, nature writer, adventure writer – along the way, he is also a nuanced examiner of some of the world’s most fraught and urgent questions about the interconnectedness  of people and the natural world.'

Comparing Adam Weymouth with other prolific travel writers, author Susan Hill said: 'I was knocked sideways by this book and quite unexpectedly. Adam Weymouth takes his place beside the great travel writers like Chatwin, Thubron, Leigh Fermor, in one bound. But like their books this is about so much more than just travel.'

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