Adventures in Search of Silence, Solitude and Renewal


Retreat takes us on a stunning journey through the many ways humans step back from daily life, both in today's world and in our past.

'Open-minded, elegantly written and comprehensive' Daily Telegraph

From mindfulness and meditation to yoga breaks and spiritual bootcamps, stepping back from daily life remains a human obsession. In this endlessly enlightening book, Nat Segnit experiences retreats around the world as he investigates why we seek solitude, what we get out of it, and what is going on in our brains and bodies when we achieve it. Along the way, he meets yogic scholars, scientists, religious leaders, philosophers and artists, gaining fascinating - and often startling - insights.

'A vivid personal and almost eerily timely' William Fiennes, author of The Snow Geese


  • A rich and almost eerily timely book, Nat Segnit's exploration of the history and meaning of retreat maps copious research onto a vivid personal quest that reads at times like Eat Pray Love as written by David Foster Wallace
    William Fiennes, author of The Snow Geese

About the author

Nat Segnit

Nat Segnit's investigations into the human impulse to withdraw took him to India, Greece, the US and the Arctic Circle, until unforeseen circumstances forced his own retreat, along with the rest of humanity. He has written for the New Yorker, Harper's, 1843 magazine and the TLS, and regularly writes and broadcasts for BBC Radio 4. Retreat is his second book.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more