In this episode of The Writing Life, our Chief Executive Chris Gribble speaks with writer Patrick Barkham about the process of writing his new book The Swimmer, and how he found ways to ‘hear’ the voice of an author whose work he knew well, but who he never met.
Patrick Barkham is an award-winning author and natural history writer for the Guardian. His books include The Butterfly Isles, Badgerlands, Islander and Wild Child. He is President of Norfolk Wildlife Trust and lives in Norfolk with his family.
His new book The Swimmer is a creative biography of the late writer, filmmaker and environmentalist Roger Deakin. The book is told primarily in the words of the subject himself, with support from a chorus of friends, family, colleagues, lovers and neighbours.
Together, they touch on the impact and legacy of Roger, as one of the forerunners of the new nature writing movement, the ethics of biography, and the hard graft of reconstructing a life from the myriad of physical and emotional traces a writer has left behind.
Edited by Omni Mix
Image © Fiona Shaw
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