Author(s): Katharine Norbury
Katharine Norbury was abandoned as a baby in a Liverpool convent. Raised by loving adoptive parents, she grew into a wanderer, drawn by the landscape of the British countryside. One summer, following the miscarriage of a much-longed-for child, Katharine sets out - accompanied by her nine-year-old daughter, Evie - with the idea of following a river from the sea to its source. The luminously observed landscape grounds the walkers, earths them, providing both a constant and a context to their expeditions. But what begins as a diversion from grief soon evolves into a journey to the source of life itself, when a chance circumstance forces Katharine to the door of the woman who abandoned her all those years ago. Combining travelogue, memoir, exquisite nature writing and fragments of poems with tales from Celtic mythology, The Fish Ladder has a rare emotional resonance. It is a portrait of motherhood, of a literary marriage, a hymn to the adoptive family, a captivating story of self-discovery. But perhaps most of all it is an exploration of the extraordinary majesty of the natural world. Imbued with a keen and joyful intelligence, this original and life-affirming book is set to become a classic of its genre.
Part travelogue, part memoir, this deeply moving story of self-discovery - told through journeys on foot along the glittering rivers of Britain - is nature writing at its finest and destined to be a classic of memoir
Deeply affecting, atmospheric and sensuous, The Fish Ladder is a beautifully written meditation of what it is to be alone, of yearning for connection and of the consolations of nature Polly Samson There is much to learn from The Fish Ladder about how the memoir can tell a story as well as be a meditation; how language can be both profound and sensuous. It's an unsentimental but extraordinary exploration of how we use narrative to understand our place in the world Amit Chaudhuri
Katharine Norbury trained as a film editor with the BBC and has worked extensively in film and television drama. She is a graduate of the Creative Writing MA programme at UEA and teaches writing about place to US undergraduates at CAPA International Education. She lives in London with her family. The Fish Ladder is her first book. @kjnorbury