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Raynor Winn interviews Cornish-based writer Catrina Davies as they discuss the portrayal of rural West Country lives.
Catrina Davies grew up around Land’s End and has written bestselling books about travel and homelessness. Her latest, Once Upon a Raven's Nest is the story of a working-class man, one Thomas Hedley of Exmoor, and of the planet during the period of its great acceleration towards the current climate emergency.
Born in 1955 to a poor family in Devon, Thomas refused to conform. His fierce independence and contrariness led not only to scrapes and self-inflicted dangers but to a life enriched by the love of women. Catrina Davies came to know him in his last years and has given his life and times in his own words, creating a rich, pungent language in a knowing, poetic and poignant voice.
We learn of his accumulation of engines, tools and guns, the complexity of his connection to nature, the animals he loved and his desire to hunt them. He recounts the terrible consequences of his fatal attraction to risk which led to his being paralysed for the last years of his life, confined to a wheelchair, hopelessly dependent but still watching, noticing, recording, loving the world.
The narrative is interwoven with a sequence of factual entries that chart the impending climate catastrophe and the consequences of our collective choices to ignore the warning of an environment on the verge of collapse.
Join Catrina as she discusses the writing of the book and the characterisation of working class voices in culture with acclaimed, bestselling author Raynor Winn.
“A rich, beautiful and deeply moving book. I read it in one sitting, then was sorry that I had not drawn it out for longer, as I enjoyed it so much.” George Monbiot
“Original and powerful, I loved this book. This is a beautiful, powerful and truly original book which is nature writing at its truest and finest.” Clover Stroud
'Has the unmistakable smell of a classic' CHARLES FOSTER
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