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Cornerstones, edited by Mark Smalley


Stories in all landscapes begin below the surface of the earth. Bedrock speaks first through the variety of soils, plants and animals that live above ground, then shapes the way people farm land, worship their gods and build villages, towns and cities. To understand the distinct quality of any place, first we must peel back the skin of the earth.

Adapted from the acclaimed BBC Radio 3 series, Cornerstones invites writers from around the world to consider the ground beneath their feet. Distinguished by a strong sense of place and characterised by close, personal observation, the pieces in this collection take us away from the familiar surfaces of life and express the awe that we feel when encountering the invisible heft, grain and rub of the subterranean world.

From Lewisian gneiss, granite, flint, millstone grit, Red Sandstone, quartz, meteorites, into caves and through the streets of the ‘Granite City’, across Siberia, the Jurassic Coast, Samiland and the Weald, Cornerstones is an extraordinary journey through hidden landscapes, both familiar and wild, rural and urban.

Contributors include: John Burnside, Linda Cracknell, Alan Garner, Gillian Clarke, Sue Clifford, Tim Dee, Paul Evans, Rose Ferraby, Alyson Hallett, Fiona Hamilton, Diane Johnson, Daniel Kalder, Jason Mark, Sara Maitland, Helen Mort, Gina Moseley, Sarah Moss, Peter Randall-Page, Ronald Turnbull, Sara Wheeler, Esther Woolfson.

Presented as a hardback with illustrated dust jacket.

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