Windswept: Walking in the Footsteps of Remarkable Women marks Abbs’s first foray into memoir and biography. Acquired at auction by Two Roads (an imprint of John Murray) in the UK, Tin House in the US, Harper Collins in Germany and publishers in France, Holland and Italy, Windswept is a feminist exploration of walking in wild landscapes. Here Abbs examines the role of non-urban walking on the lives, writings and art of several women including Gwen John, Frieda Lawrence, Nan Shepherd, Georgia O’Keeffe and Simone de Beauvoir, alongside a good smattering of audacious but entirely forgotten women. As she walks their paths – the empty plains of Texas, the mountains of Scotland, the rivers and forests of France – Abbs looks back at her own walking childhood in remote Wales and asks why women have been overlooked in the ‘literature of the leg’ and of nature writing.
“A gorgeous and revelatory blend of memoir, travelogue, and long-forgotten history, Abbs is a witty and engaging guide, seamlessly weaving her own experience with those of her “walking women,” all of whom discovered that the simple act of taking one step at a time can be the most powerful—and defiant—of all.” Abbott Kahler, New York Times bestselling author of The Ghosts of Eden Park
“Amazing… lovely, haunting, inspiring and so well done.” Professor Amy Von Lintel, author of The Wartime Texas Letters of Georgia O’Keeffe, and Georgia O’Keeffe Watercolours.
“A triumph … I felt as though I were being lifted, carried up to peaks.” Charlotte Peacock, author of Into the Mountain: A Life of Nan Shepherd.