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Some of Us Just Fall

On Nature and Not Getting Better

Polly Atkin author


Publisher:Hodder & Stoughton

Published:2nd May '24

Should be back in stock very soon

Some of Us Just Fall cover


'It raises the standard of nature writing. This is both radical manifesto and activism in book form'

Sally Huband, author of Sea Bean

'Long before I knew I was sick, I knew I was breakable . . .'

After years of unexplained health problems, Polly Atkin's understanding of her body had become fluid and disjointed. When she was finally diagnosed with two chronic conditions in her thirties, she began to piece together her own history: the fractures and dislocations, the exhaustion and medical disregard.

A searing blend of memoir, nature writing and pathography, Some of Us Just Fall traces a remarkable journey through illness. From misdiagnoses to wild swimming in the Lake District, Polly examines her genetic inheritance, her place in the natural world and her future in her body.

'Defiant and dazzling' Freya Bromley, author of The Tidal Year

Polly Atkin, who had long suffered ill health, was diagnosed with two chronic conditions in her thirties. Some of Us Just Fall is her timely, lyrical and insightful exploration of the stories we tell about our bodies and how they influence our lives and sense of belonging. It made me yearn to revisit the Lake District and Grasmere, where Atkin lives, because her descriptions of her daily walks and swims were so beautiful. Perfect for fans of Sinéad Gleeson, Amy Liptrot and Olivia Laing -- Jack Clark * The Times *
A lyrical swirl of memoir, nature writing and pathography * Belfast Telegraph *
Polly Atkin's Some of Us Just Fall unpicks the body of the wild, alongside the disabled wilderness of Atkin's own body. It gives us an experience that is both timely and timeless: of medical gaslighting, a body in pain, and the search for coping strategies out in the natural world. With a poet's insight and a deep understanding of place, Atkin pulls us again and again to witness the fractured, the breathless, the untameable bodies that permeate her book. I was immersed -- Katie Hale, author of MY NAME IS MONSTER
Some of Us Just Fall is a remarkable book that deepens our understanding of what it can mean to be human . . . an essential addition to writing on nature, it offers a much-needed counterpoint to ill-thinking notions of nature cure and, by seamlessly merging vivid personal experience with insights from literature and the natural world, raises the standard of nature writing. This is both radical manifesto and activism in book form -- Sally Huband, author of SEA BEAN
Polly Atkin has conjured magic in this story of a life touched harshly by illness and misunderstanding, demonstrating a deep connection to the natural world and the voices of the past. Beyond the mesmeric writing on nature and place, Some of Us Just Fall acts as a stark reminder of the implications of misdiagnosis. It is a reminder to remain curious, keep asking questions and open our mind to the possibility that everything is not as it seems -- Caro Giles, author of TWELVE MOONS

In Some of Us Just Fall Polly Atkin, in prose of extraordinary strength and inventiveness, takes her readers on a creative and intellectual adventure across the particularities of embodiment, the insidiousness of the idea of cure, on the body as a site for nature writing, and on living in a place that generates meaning and sustenance in the most unexpected ways. The result is a gift of a book

-- Daisy Hay, author of DINNER WITH JOSEPH JOHNSON
Polly Atkin writes with glorious and precise beauty. In Some of Us Just Fall we are asked to reimagine not just the stories we tell about the natural world, but about ourselves and how we live together. This is essential reading -- Jessica J. Lee, author of TURNING
This book participates in a really exciting new direction for nature writing - one that accommodates fatigue and illness as well as strong, striding bodies -- Noreen Masud * Hyphen *
A stunning book about chronic illness that will stay with you long after you finish reading . . . It's a rallying cry for society to stand up and advocate for those too bloody exhausted from struggling to be believed by the medical establishment. Some of Us Just Fall is a book that needs to be read, and I hope we hear more stories of living with illness in the future rather than astonishing recovery -- Catherine Renton * The Wee Review *
I came away from this book with a firm understanding that mind, body and environment are three inseparable things -- Joanne Limburg, author of LETTERS TO MY WEIRD SISTERS

A powerful message surrounded by beautiful immersive nature

-- Rachel Charlton-Dailey, journalist and founder of The Unwritten
Some of Us Just Fall is defiant and dazzling! I was completely submerged in Atkin's life and its characters: the grey wagtail, her partner waiting in the shade of a tree, the nurses, the heron by the river. By sharing her relationship with water, Atkin has changed mine. Her prose is a beautiful gift -- Freya Bromley, author of THE TIDAL YEAR
Polly Atkin has written a survival story for the rest of us - a book of depth, meaning and resilience in the face of overwhelming adversity - a cathartic read -- Allyson Shaw, author of ASHES AND STONES
Some of Us Just Fall is a breath of fresh air in the world of nature writing, a many-faceted mountain of experiential truths, a grounded patch of understanding to rest on. Her prose is both brutally honest and tender - she deftly brings the environment into the bodymind, and vice versa -- Khairani Barokka, author of ULTIMATUM ORANGUTAN
Reading Some of Us Just Fall was for me a surprisingly visceral experience. I've never had such a bodily reaction to reading - as though my bones, muscles and nerve endings were being drawn into Polly's life and words, her very singular way of seeing the world. A fine, intricately crafted book that reveals itself slowly and thrillingly through a tracery of patterns, fractures and flows -- Helen Jukes, author of A HONEYBEE HEART HAS FIVE OPENINGS

ISBN: 9781399718011

Dimensions: 196mm x 126mm x 26mm

Weight: 220g

304 pages