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.
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.
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.
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.