A bold and original exploration of landscape, nature and literature by one of Britain’s most acclaimed novelists

23 Jun 2017 - 15:46

Elliott & Thompson is delighted to announce its forthcoming publication of Under the Rock, a new work of non-fiction by Benjamin Myers.

Carved from the valley side above Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, Scout Rock is a steep crag overlooking wooded slopes and flat weed-tangled plateaus. To many it is unremarkable, to others it is a doomed place where 18th-century thieves would hide out; where the town tip once sat, suicides leapt to their death and the asbestos that claimed so many lives was buried in the soil. Scout Rock is also the subject of Ted Hughes’s 1963 essay ‘The Rock’, in which the poet describes growing up across the valley from “my spiritual midwife...both the curtain and backdrop to my existence.”

Into this beautiful, dark and complex landscape steps Benjamin Myers, asking: are unremarkable places made remarkable by the minds that map them? The result is a lyrical and unflinching investigation into nature, literature, history, memory and the very meaning of place in modern Britain.

Publisher Jennie Condell bought UK & Commonwealth rights from Jessica Woollard at David Higham Associates. Condell said: ‘This is a startling and powerful contribution to the literature of landscape and place from a writer of immense talent. Ben’s dark, atmospheric novels are deservedly cult classics, and this book will establish him as an exciting new voice in non-fiction. We couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with Ben to bring his extraordinary writing to the widest possible audience.’

Under the Rock will be published in hardback in May 2018.