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Sightlines (2012, Sort Of Books)

242 pages

English language

Published July 15, 2012 by Sort Of Books.

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5 stars (4 reviews)

1 edition

Review of 'Sightlines' on 'GoodReads'

5 stars

Poet Kathleen Jamie brings a beautiful elegance to this semi-autobiographical series of essays about Scottish islands, whales, birds, and human histories. Every chapter is wonderfully constructed and tells another short story in an overarching narrative that is Jamie's view of the a small part of the story of humans. It is neither bleak nor hopeful, instead presented almost like an alien's poetic musings on a strange species.

What Jamie does best, however, is position the non-human. Avoiding the common pitfalls of anthropocentric nature writing, she manages to make a protagonist of homo sapiens but keeps them from chewing the scenery. Her handling of her craft of writing is magnificent throughout.

Review of 'Sightlines' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Wonderful writing, never have I been as jealous of an author as I am right now, the things Kathleen Jamie has done and the places she has been as part of the research for this book is stunning. Visiting remote abandoned islands in the Hebrides, St Kilda and Rona, to sitting inside a whale skeleton in a museum giving it a clean, that must have been an amazing experience. It wasn't all fun and games though, at times she suffers big time with seasickness that she must be wondering why she is putting herself through this, then she reaches her destination and it all suddenly makes sense. In this book she talks about her past, working on an archaeological site, you can see that's where her love of the outside started.

Beautifully written, she can make the mundane stand out so that you can become engrossed in it, really looking …

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5 stars


  • Natural history
  • Travel
  • Description and travel


  • Scotland
  • Arctic regions