60 Degrees North

By Malachy Tallack
60 Degrees North cover



The sixtieth parallel marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds. Wrapping itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden, and Norway, it crosses the tip of Greenland and the southern coast of Alaska, and slices the great expanses of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, where Malachy Tallack has spent most of his life.

In Sixty Degrees North, Tallack travels westward, exploring the landscapes of the parallel and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory.

An intimate journey of the heart and mind, Sixty Degrees North begins with the author's loss of his father and his own troubled relationship with Shetland, and concludes with an embrace of the place he calls home.

Year of Publication


'It is a brave book ... and a beautiful book' -- Robert Macfarlane; 'Malachy Tallack is the real deal, a writer given over to pure curiosity, honest witness and that most precious of gifts, an unselfconscious sense of wonder ... not just a vibrant new voice, but a wise, questioning and highly sophisticated talent' -- John Burnside; 'Elegant, meditative and wry ... Tallack takes the reader on some fascinating excursions' -- Gavin Francis; 'a subtle, thoughtful study of life on the sixtieth parallel', 'I thoroughly enjoyed this book and learnt a lot' -- Sara Wheeler, Financial Times; 'There is compelling honesty and much wisdom in Tallack's brave adventure', 'Malachy is a fine, sensitive writer with an eye for detail and a talent for descriptive prose' Gavin Bell, The Herald; 'A promising debut from the new school of travel writing examines the significance of place and what it means to belong', 'Where I ... cleave to Tallack is in his belief that our relationship with place is fundamentally emotional (or should be).' 'This ... is a book about belonging rather than a conventional travelogue. Tallack is one of a burgeoning group of young travel writers - of whom Robert Macfarlane is the cynosure - who have reinvigorated their increasingly tired genre with elements of psychogeography: the study of how places make us feel' - Will Self, The Guardian; 'If you're going to bring out a book of this type - and with "North" in the title - you'd better have something important to say and a fresh, exciting way of saying it; the fact that first-time author Malachy Tallack succeeds on both counts is nothing short of remarkable... he takes the brave step of putting himself right at the heart of the story, using his own experiences to ask searching, never-less-than fascinating questions about identity, homecoming and what it means to truly belong to a place... For anyone with an interest in how we construct answers to that most straightforward-seeming of questions - "where are you from?" - it is essential reading' - Roger Cox, Scotland on Sunday; 'This is a beautifully introspective book about the search for home and identity amidst the changes of time and the trappings of place' - Rebecca Foster, Nudge Book; 'It is a strength of the book that it asks questions of its readers, and provokes a response that will be as individual as the circumstances of the person holding it in his or her hands... although 60 Degrees North is a book about a journey, and a very personal journey at that, it is one which provokes in the reader their own internal discussion about place, attachment, and what it means to be home' - Elsewhere Journal; 'Tallack's story is brave and honest, while also deeply moving' - Scottish Field; 'It's a joy to read, its prose as clear as the light on the Greenland ice-cap' - Telegraph; 'This is a rather touching read; an act of mourning as much as a travel book' - Geographical; 'fabulously well-written, gripping and full of emotion, as well as humour, this profound memoir is a great read' - Scotland Outdoors (Book of the Month); 'There is much to admire in the poetic writing of the tale' - Dundee University Review of the Arts

Author Biography

Malachy Tallack is a young writer and musician who has recently been awarded a New Writers Award by the Scottish Book Trust and an Artist's Bursary by Creative Scotland. He is currently being mentored by John Burnside. He has worked as a reporter on the Shetland Times and his writing has appeared in the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Scottish Review of Books, and in magazines such as Irish Pages, PN Review, Waterlog and Earthlines. In 2013 he launched The Island Review, an online magazine featuring writing and visual arts from islands all over the world.