New novel, OCEAN, forthcoming 2023

A novel of a family trauma, a failing marriage and an epic journey to recover all that has been lost.

Three years and two research trips in the making, my third novel Ocean will be published by riverrun at Quercus in 2023.

It’s been a life changing voyage to write this novel. I’ve discovered a deep love of the open ocean, and am learning to sail. I’ve crossed the Bay of Biscay as crew on a sailing yacht, and sailed the west coast of Scotland in a classic wooden boat. During lockdown when taking a sailing trip was not possible I studied for the Day Skipper Theory Exam and discovered a passion for navigation. I’ve been welcomed into the sailing fraternity, despite my being a total novice, and I have met the most wonderful knowledgeable people. And now, I live on a boat. I guess you could say it all went a bit far. But if I have learned anything from writing, it is this: you simply cannot go too far (or too deep). And this is the incomparable joy and consolation of writing.

Writing and sailing are closely aligned; the language of the sea permeates our literature. I’ve heard it said that, between them, Shakespeare and nautical expressions originate almost all our idioms and phrases in English! For the past three years I have worked almost exclusively on Ocean, but occasionally other writing enabled me to go deeper still into my themes and questions. In 2021, whilst immersed in my novel, I read the classic of voyaging, real and metaphorical, Ulysses, and wrote an essay exploring this process of journeying through a book, through a life, through a day. Even After Everything: The Sea, Ulysses and Me was shortlisted in Wigtown Book Festival’s Anne Brown Prize in 2021. It gives, perhaps better than I can say, an insight into this particular kind of creative journey, and you can download and read it here.

1 Comment

  1. Congratulations Polly
    What an adventure! I look forward to reading u your book when it’s published.
    All the best,

    Sent from my iPhone

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