Friday 15 November 2019 at 21:00 - 22:30


The Festival Bookshop

Out of the Woods

with Luke Turner

Author Luke Turner joins us to share his new book, Out of the Woods. Turning the nature memoir genre upon its head... it is a honest, haunting and moving memoir about sexuality, shame and the lure of the trees.

After the disintegration of the most significant relationship of his life, the demons Luke Turner has been battling since childhood are quick to return - depression and guilt surrounding his identity as a bisexual man, experiences of sexual abuse, and the religious upbringing that was the cause of so much confusion. It is among the trees of London's Epping Forest where he seeks refuge. But once a place of comfort, it now seems full of unexpected, elusive threats that trigger twisted reactions.

No stranger to compulsion, Luke finds himself drawn again and again to the woods, eager to uncover the strange secrets that may be buried there as he investigates an old family rumour of illicit behaviour. Away from a society that still struggles to cope with the complexities of masculinity and sexuality, Luke begins to accept the duality that has provoked so much unrest in his life - and reconcile the expectations of others with his own way of being.

Shortlisted for the prestigious Wainwright Prize.

Out of the Woods is a dazzling, devastating and highly original memoir about the irresistible yet double-edged potency of the forest, and the possibility of learning to find peace in the grey areas of life.

  • A brave and beautiful book, electrifying on sex and nature, religion and love. No one is writing quite like this. I'm so glad Luke Turner exists

    Olivia Laing

    author of The Lonely City and Crudo

  • Refreshing, frank, edifying, courageous . . . I was quite emotional by the end. Luke Turner is a serious thinker and a unique and important new voice

    Amy Liptrot

    Author of The Outrun