Skybound: A Journey In Flight


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Skybound: A Journey In Flight Author: Format: Paperback / softback First Published: Published By: Pan Macmillan Pages: 336 Language: English ISBN: 9781447273875 Categories: , , , ,

Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Memoir of the Year Award ‘A soaring gift of a book’ Owen Sheers ‘Remarkable’ Mark Vanhoenacker, author of Skyfaring ‘Stunning . . . a love letter to nature’ Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love In her mid-thirties Rebecca Loncraine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two years later, and after months of gruelling treatment, she flew in a glider for the first time. In that engineless plane, soaring 3,000 feet over the landscape of her childhood with only the rising thermals to take her higher and the birds to lead the way, she fell in love. If illness meant Rebecca had lost touch with the world around her, gliding showed her a way to learn to live again. And so Rebecca travelled from the Black Mountains in Wales to New Zealand’s Southern Alps and the Nepalese Himalayas to chase her new-found passion: her need to fly with the birds, to push herself to the boundary of her own fear. Skybound is the story of that obsession and of Rebecca’s incredible journey from the ground, into the sky and back again. Taking in the history of unpowered flight, and with extraordinary descriptions of flying in some of the world’s most dangerous and dramatic locations, this is a nature memoir with a unique perspective; it is about the land we know and the sky we know so little of, it is about memory and self-discovery. Just as she finished writing Skybound Rebecca became ill again. She died in September 2016. And yet, Skybound is still a book about learning to live again: deeply moving, thrilling and euphoric, this is a book for anyone who has ever looked up and wanted to take flight.

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I have never read anything like it . . . painted from a palette of courage, honesty and moments of great beauty -- Jim Crumley Proves that one can soar above the fear of death both literally and in language of unsurpassed beauty . . . the book is about the sheer thrill of being part of the astonishing earth we have in common, written by an extraordinarily sensitive and gifted writer * Harvard Review * A life-affirming memoir * Radio Times * Profound and exquisitely written -- Jay Griffiths, author of Wild: An Elemental Journey This beautiful book transformed the way I see the sky . . . fascinating -- James Macdonald Lockhart, author of Raptor Astonishingly beautiful . . . a record of a life that was lived vividly and thrillingly and intensely . . . brilliant and unique -- Niall Griffiths, author of Grits As thoughtful and insightful as it is courageous and inspiring * Sunday Express * If you're looking for beauty, love and courage, read this book -- Nicholas Crane A valuable contribution . . . if Skybound is a manual for anything, it's for how to find lift on the Earth in the face of uncertainties . . . remarkable -- Mark Vanhoenacker, author of Skyfaring * Spectator * Stunning . . . Skybound is so full of life - a love letter to nature and a hymn of love to the parental bond -- Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love and A Manual for Heartache Makes you look at the sky and the land with new eyes . . . extraordinary . . . a celebration of wind and wings * Daily Telegraph * A soaring gift of a book. A moving meditation on landscapes and the leaving of them, the freedom of travelling beyond our fears -- Owen Sheers Profound, euphoric and courageous . . . breathtaking . . . a shimmering parting gift to those still earthbound * Guardian *

Author Biography

Rebecca Loncraine was a British freelance writer. She held a foundation diploma in Fine Art, a first class undergraduate degree in history, and a doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University. She is the author of The Real Wizard of Oz: The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum published by Gotham Books in 2009. Born in England, she grew up on a hill farm in the Black Mountains of Wales, and it was there she returned after her diagnosis of breast cancer. It is also where - after her recovery - she fell in love with glider flying. Rebecca began writing Skybound in response to her new passion and she was just finishing the new book when, in 2015, she became ill again. Rebecca died at home in Wales in September 2016.