The Grassling

The Grassling

Summary

'Deliciously tactile and meditative . . . to read this is to luxuriate in the land, and to connect to it and oneself' Bernardine Evaristo

What fills my lungs is wider than breath could be. It is a place and a language torn, matted and melded; flowered and chiming with bones. That breath is that place and until I get there I will not really be breathing.

Spurred on by her father's declining health and inspired by the history he once wrote of his small Devon village, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett delves through layers of memory, language and natural history to tell a powerful story of how the land shapes us and speaks to us. The Grassling is a book about roots: what it means to belong when the soil beneath our feet is constantly shifting, when the people and places that nurtured us are slipping away.

Reviews

  • Burnett manages the delicate feat of maintaining our sense of reverence for the nebulous Anglo-Saxon romanticism..., but twins it with astute scientific nous which never strays into the esoteric. She does this with such joy that we cannot help but want to join in... a heartening read.
    Stephanie Sy-Quia, The Quietus

About the author

Elizabeth-Jane Burnett

Elizabeth-Jane Burnett is a writer of English and Kenyan heritage. She was born in Devon and her work is inspired by the landscape in which she was raised. She is the author of Swims, a Sunday Times Poetry Book of the Year, and her poetry has been highly commended in the Forward Prize.
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