A life-affirming and perspective-shifting memoir of one woman's walk in the wilds as she comes to terms with an Asperger's diagnosis.
Perfect for fans of The Salt Path and The Outrun, this book is a life-affirming exploration of wild landscapes, what it means to be different and, above all, how we can all learn to make peace within our own unquiet minds.
'A windswept tale, beautifully told' Raynor Winn - The Salt Path
'A manifesto for the value of difficult people. I loved it' Amy Liptrot - The Outrun
In August 2015, Katherine May set out to walk the 630-mile South West Coast Path. She wanted to understand why she had stopped coping with everyday life; why motherhood had been so overwhelming and isolating, and why the world felt full of inundation and expectations she can't meet. Setting her feet down on the rugged and difficult path by the sea, the answer begins to unfold. It's a chance encounter with a voice on the radio that sparks a realisation that she has Asperger's Syndrome.
The Electricity of Every Living Thing tells the story of the year in which Katherine comes to terms with her diagnosis. It leads to a re-evaluation of her life so far - a kinder one, which finally allows her to be different rather than simply awkward, arrogant or unfeeling. The physical and psychological journeys become inextricably entwined, and as Katherine finds her way across the untameable coast, she also finds the way to herself.
What readers are saying about The Electricity of Every Living Thing:
'This book showed a realistic view of how autism feels to some people, and it's explained so well'
'The astonishing sensitivity and awareness in her writing, both about the beautiful landscapes and nature around on her walks, and in relation to her family, friends and self put paid to many outdated myths about what it is like to be autistic'
'Compelling and transformative'
Katherine May writes fiction and memoir, and is also known as Betty Herbert (The 52 Seductions). She lives in Whitstable with her husband and son, is obsessed with Devon, and loves gin martinis, the sea and walking until her legs ache. She was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2016.
Katherine began her literary career as a resident writer for Tate Britain's education programme, and until recently ran the Creative Writing programmes at Canterbury Christ Church University.