From my list on to survive desert islands, life, and everything.
Who am I?
Both my books have a survival theme. Whether it’s foraging for mushrooms, wild camping, or trying to survive lockdown, I’ve always been interested in the relationship between endurance and creativity; what happens when humans are pushed to their limits. After teaching English in a secondary school for 25 years, I decided that I wanted to write a book of my own. I hid away in my caravan in West Wales, living off tomato soup and marshmallows, to write The Island. The books on this list represent the full gamut of survival: stripping yourself raw, learning nature’s lore, healing, falling, getting back up again. Ultimately, to read is to escape into story. To read is to survive.
Olivia's book list on to survive desert islands, life, and everything
Why did Olivia love this book?
This is the book which most inspired Frances’ voice in The Island. 15-year old Anais is troubled, loving, brilliant, and creative. She is also at a young offenders’ institution named the Panopticon after being found covered in blood at a crime scene. A birthday present from my brother, this book is so powerful, moving, and evocative. It’s written in spiky Midlothian. It’s raw. It’s warm. It’s brutal.
No matter what life throws at her (and there is a lot) Anais finds a way to survive with humour and defiance. I just loved it.