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Walking on Thin Air: Richmond Literary walk with Geoff Nicholson

September 2, 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Books on the Rise are delighted to invite you to join acclaimed writer Geoff Nicholson for a walk around Richmond for the launch of his new memoir: ‘Walking on Thin Air: A Life’s Journey in 99 Steps’.

You can book tickets here

Geoff Nicholson has been walking ever since he could. Part urban explorer, part psychogeographer, rambler and flâneur, wherever he is and wherever he goes in the world, city, desert or area of outstanding natural beauty, he walks and writes about what he sees and feels. Here he reflects on the nature of walking, why we do it, how it benefits us and, in some cases, how it damages and even destroys us.

For the launch of his new book, Geoff is leading us on a walk around Richmond, who’s literary history intersects with some of those walkers referenced in his book, most notably Virginia Woolf, who founded the Hogarth Press around the corner from our bookshop. We will finish the walk at Richmond’s newest indie bookshop – Books on the Rise on Richmond Hill for a signing, your chance to pick up a copy of the book, and some browsing!

Geoff’s walking took on a new meaning when he was diagnosed with CMML, a rare type of blood cancer, treatable but not curable. He is acutely aware that he won’t always be able to even walk up the hill to his hospital appointments every three months. Although he vows to continue to walk for as long as he can, Geoff knows that sooner or later there will be a last step, a last excursion, a final drift, for him just as there is for everybody else.

The 99 reflections in this book are a scattering of thoughts, memories and a poignant awareness of his own mortality. He describes his own walks and relates them to the walks of others – to the walking of street photographers such as Gerry Winogrand, Diane Arbus and Daido Moriyama; artists Richard Long, John Baldessari, Sophie Calle; and writers, José Luis Borges, Kathy Acker, Teju Cole, Lauren Elkin and Virginia Woolf, who Leonard knew had died because she left her walking stick on the riverbank.

This moving but often funny book is an intelligent, thought-provoking insight into the power of simply walking, alive and awake to all that is present, giving flow to a vital stream of creative ideas and ruminations.

About Geoff: Geoff Nicholson was born in Sheffield and was educated at the Universities of Cambridge and Essex. He is the author of over twenty books, which have been widely translated with one made into a Hollywood movie. These include the acclaimed novel Bleeding London (shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize), as well as classics of psychogeographical non-fiction, The Lost Art of Walking and Walking in Ruins. He has written for publications such as the Guardian, Daily Telegraph, GQ, New York Times, London Magazine, Literary Review. He is currently a contributing editor to the Los Angeles Review of Books. He lives in Essex.


September 2
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Event Category:


Books on the Rise
80 Hill Rise
Richmond, Richmond Upon Thames TW10 6UB United Kingdom
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