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The Overhaul

The Overhaul is Kathleen Jamie’s first collection since the award-winning The Tree House, and it broadens her poetic range considerably. The Overhaul continues Jamie’s lyric enquiry into the aspects of the world our rushing lives elide, and even threaten. Whether she is addressing birds or rivers, or the need to accept loss, or sometimes, the desire to escape our own lives, her work is earthy and rigorous, her language at once elemental and tender.
As an essayist, she has frequently queried our human presence in the world with the question ‘How are we to live?’ Here, this is answered more personally than ever. The Overhaul is a mid-life book of repair, restitution, and ultimately hope – of the wisest and most worldly kind.

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The outer world flew open like a door, and I wondered, what is it that we’re just not seeing?
In this greatly anticipated sequel to Findings, prize-winning poet and renowned nature writer Kathleen Jamie takes a fresh look at her native Scottish landscapes, before sailing north into iceberg-strewn seas. Her gaze swoops vertiginously too; from a countryside of cells beneath a hospital microscope, to killer whales rounding a headland, to the constellations of satellites that belie our sense of the remote. Written with her hallmark precision and delicacy, and marked by moments in her own life, Sightlines offers a rare invitation to pause and to pay heed to our surroundings.

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It’s surprising what you can find by simply stepping out to look. Kathleen Jamie, award winning poet, has an eye and an ease with the nature and landscapes of Scotland as well as an incisive sense of our domestic realities. In Findings she draws together these themes to describe travels like no other contemporary writer. Whether she is following the call of a peregrine in the hills above her home in Fife, sailing into a dark winter solstice on the Orkney islands, or pacing around the carcass of a whale on a rain-swept Hebridean beach, she creates a subtle and modern narrative, peculiarly alive to her connections and surroundings.

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About Kathleen Jamie


Kathleen Jamie was born in the west of Scotland in 1962. Her poetry collections to date include The Tree House (Picador 2004), which won both the Forward prize, and the Scottish Book of the Year Award; Jizzen (Picador 1999) which won the Geoffey Faber Memorial Award and Mr and Mrs Scotland are Dead which was shortlisted for the 2003 Griffin Prize. Her first non-fiction, The Golden Peak; an account of her travels in rural Pakistan, was re-published by Sort of Books as Among Muslims in 2005. It was described as ‘utterly luminous’ (The Independent) and ‘one of the most powerful accounts by a contemporary Western writer’ (TLS). Her subsequent collection of prose essays, Findings (Sort of Books 2006) is considered a landmark in nature writing. Richard Mabey wrote of it: ‘Kathleen Jamie is a supreme listener … in the quietness of her listening, you hear her own voice: clear, subtle, respectful, and so unquenchably curious that it makes the world anew. This is as close as writing gets to a conversation with the natural world.’ Sort Of is delighted to be publishing Sightlines, the highly anticipated sequel to Findings.

Kathleen Jamie is Professor of Poetry at Stirling University. She lives with her family in Fife.