An author’s walk “from source to sea along the Ouse in Sussex is a meandering, meditative delight” drawing on history, literature, and the river itself (The Guardian, UK).
In To The River, author Olivia Laing embarks on a weeklong, midsummer odyssey along the banks of the River Ouse in Sussex, England, from its source near Haywards Heath to the sea, where it empties into the Channel at Newhaven. More than sixty years after Virginia Woolf drowned herself in the River Ouse, Laing still finds inspiration and guidance in the author’s abiding presence.
Through cow pastures, woods, and neighborhood streets, Laing’s meandering walk occasions a profound and haunting reflection on histories both personal and cultural, and on landscapes both physical and emotional. Along the way, she explores the roles that rivers play in human lives, tracing their intricate flow through literature, mythology and folklore.
Lyrical and stirring, To the River is a passionate investigation into how history resides in a landscape - and how ghosts never quite leave the places they love.
“Magical…By turns lyrical, melancholic and exultant, To the River just makes you want to follow Olivia Laing all the way to the sea.”—Daily Telegraph, UK