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.
Sixty Degrees North is an intimate book, one that begins with the author's loss of his father and his own troubled relationship with Shetland, and concludes with an acceptance of loss and an embrace – ultimately a love – of the place he calls home.
This is a quality book being well researched and full of accurate interest in the fields of history and geography written by an author who obviously knows how to write well.
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.
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