Strange Labyrinth

Outlaws, Poets, Mystics, Murderers and a Coward in London's Great Forest

Will Ashon

Published: 1 February 2018
Paperback, B Format
129x198mm, 416 pages
ISBN: 9781783783458
£9.99

Other Editions

Hardback

Image of

Published: 6 April 2017
Hardback, Demy HB
138x216mm, 416 pages
ISBN: 9781783783434
£14.99

Ebook Available

Overview

In litter-strewn Epping Forest on the edge of London, might a writer find that magical moment of transcendence? He will certainly discover filthy graffiti and frightening dogs, as well as world-renowned artists and fading celebrities, robbers, lovers, ghosts and poets. But will he find himself? Or a version of himself he might learn something from?

Strange Labyrinth is a quest narrative arguing that we shouldn't get lost in order to find ourselves, but solely to accept that we are lost in the first place. It is a singular blend of landscape writing, political indignation, cultural history and wit from a startling new voice in non-fiction.


About the author


Reviews

Strange Labyrinth is a wonderful exploration of the tangled undergrowth of the psyche. Ashon is an anarchic Green Man; a puckish punk of the forests and here he has invented a new genre: Gonzo Romanticism’ Jon Day

Close

Reviews

Wilder than Macfarlane, funnier than Deakin and more emotionally engaged than Sebald, Will Ashon turns getting lost in the forest into high art, and great entertainment. By the end you'll probably be looking for a berth up a tree alongside him’ Matt Thorne

‘From John Clare to Crass, Will Ashon unearths magic in a forest that is more than mere harbour and hide-out for dissidents, poets and outlaws, but which represents an entire narrative strand of an ever-changing England. Here is deep questing into both person and place, masterfully deliveredBenjamin Myers

‘I found it mercilessly lucid, wildly expansive yet down-to-earth, and misanthropic as only books with real heart can be. There's tendency to treat psychogeography as a form of archaeology but he bypasses anything resembling fossils for a more intriguing, irreverent and animated approach. These are fragments of the past brought to life in the present, and a fascinating, cynical yet wide-eyed and inspiring, despite itself, present set in the greater scheme of things. A journey into the dark and terrible maze that is England with a guide as much Minotaur as Theseus’ Darran Anderson

‘This book made me so happy. A mind-expanding journey, fiercely researched, expertly constructed and ultimately life-affirming. I was underlining every singly line’ Luke Kennard

‘Will Ashon, like most of us, is frightened of many things. But unlike us, he confronts his fears in a deep, dark forest. Strange Labyrinth explores the many layers of Epping Forest, revealing a world of magic, a secret hiding place, and a home to outcasts, fugitives and misfits. Combining expert research with wonderful self-deprecation, it is a brave and very funny account of modern anxieties, confronting the things that leap out at us, as if from behind a tree, in a forest’ Paul Ewen


Events

20/09/2017, 19:45 - 22:00

Will Ashon in Conversation at Kenilworth Arts Festival

Will Ashon is a novelist, former music journalist and founder of the Big Dada imprint of Ninja Tune Records. His debut non-fiction book, Strange Labyrinth, was published by Granta in April 2017 and has been described by The Guardian as a "glorious... anarchic hymn to the scruffy edgeland of Epping Forest". Strange Labyrinth is a quest narrative arguing that we shouldn't get lost in order to find ourselves, but solely to accept that we are lost in the first place. It is a singular blend of landscape writing, political indignation, cultural history and wit from a startling new voice in non-fiction. We are delighted that Will is going to be joining us to talk about Strange Labyrinth, his journeys through the forest and the "outlaws, poets, mystics, murderers" that he met along the way. We will be announcing further details about this event shortly!
Warwickshire, UK, Kenilworth, Warwickshire





 
Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts