Stones of Aran by Tim Robinson

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'Stone of Aran: Pilgrimmage' is, as Robert Macfarlane says in his introduction, 'one of the msot sustained, intensive and imaginative studies of a place that has ever been carried out.' That place is one of the most mysterious and oldest inhabited landscapes in the world, the islands of Aran off the west coast of Ireland. Dsolate, storm-lashed limestone rocks, the islands have been meticulously cultivated for four thousand years, divided up into tiny plots of land that were worked with hard, unremitting labour. Fishing in the open Atlantic seas provided another, lethally dangerious, living. The people who lived there endured and left records in stone, story and oral tradition. Tim Robinson's epic exploratin of hte islands, which have already haunted generations of Irish writers, takes the form of a clockwise journey around the coast of Aran. Every cliff, inlet and headland reveals layers of myth and historical memory, and Robinson amkes beautifully crafted observations about the habits ofbirds, plants and humans. There are walls, cairns and ancient forts whose meaning and function is still not clear. And there is the relentless weather, and the strange properties of limestone, slowly dissolving in the rain. This is an unforgettable, uncategorisable book. 'The best book ever written by an Englishman about Ireland.' Jonathan Keates, 'Independent.' 'Aran is not just an island to him. It is an ultimate place ... It is a wonderful achievement.' Seamus Deane, 'London Review of Books'. 'Robinson deals with space the way Proust deals with time.' Sean Dunne.

About Tim Robinson

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Tim Robinson was brought up in Yorkshire. He studied at Cambridge University and worked as a teacher and artist in Istanbul, Vienna, and London. In 1972 he moved to the Aran Islands, where he gained fame as a mapmaker. He learned Gaelic and began preserving Irish place-names, winning respect as an environmentalist and a Ford European Conversation Award. Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage, published in 1985, won the Irish Book Award Literature Medal and a Rooney Prize Special Award for Literature in 1987. His other books include Stones of Aran: Labyrinth, Setting Foot on the Shores of Connemara, and My Time in Space.Robert Macfarlane's Mountains of the Mind (2003), about wilderness and the Western imagination, won the Somerset Maugham Award and the Guardian First Book Award, among other prizes.
Published February 15, 2012 by The Lilliput Press. 420 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Travel, Literature & Fiction, History, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Stones of Aran

The New York Review of Books

Tim Robinson’s Stones of Aran is one of the most striking and original literary undertakings of our time.

Sep 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Stones of Aran: Pilgrimmage

The New York Review of Books

The Aran Islands, in Galway Bay off the west coast of Ireland, are a unique geological and cultural landscape, and for centuries their stark beauty and their inhabitants’ traditional way of life have attracted pilgrims from abroad.

Aug 05 2008 | Read Full Review of Stones of Aran: Pilgrimmage

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