Listening time: 19 minutes. Having inherited, at the age of 21, the Shiants, three small islands east of the Outer Hebrides, Nicolson wrote Sea Room as ‘a love letter to them’ before handing them over to his son. He describes them as ‘the most powerful absence I know’, an apparently bleak and uninhabited example of the lifelong hold a place can have on people.
Sea Room is a lyrical, thoughtful meditation on our relationship to place, to the wild, to islands and the sea, and on life strategies, human and otherwise.
Also see the written review here, with its lavish tapestry of illustrated quotations and metaphors, and a selection of splendid triologisms and words picked up in the book.