The Shetland Way, the “urgent, informed and accessible” memoir from Marianne Brown, editor of Resurgence magazine, has been acquired by Borough Press.  

After an exciting five-way auction, Ann Bissell, editorial director of Borough Press, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Emma Bal.

The book is set to publish in October 2023, and follows Brown, an environmental journalist, during her return to Shetland for her father’s funeral in February 2020. Thanks to a global pandemic, it would be over half a year before travel restrictions were lifted, and she spent those months exploring the living landscape and discovering her own place within it.

While confronting old ghosts, her grief and her loss, a new story was unfolding — a project to build the largest onshore wind farm in the UK. What started as an investigation into the controversial wind farm evolved into a search for an alternative future.  

Marianne Brown said: “Throughout my career as a journalist I have sought to tell people’s stories to build empathy in a fractured world. Today we are facing a multitude of crises — global warming, the cost of living – and restoring our connection with the rest of the living planet and each other has never been more important. By telling my own story of connection and the role of one community in forging a way beyond fossil fuels, I want to contribute to a global vision of a liveable future. I’m extremely grateful to Emma at the MM Agency for her interest in the book, and very excited about working with Ann and the team at Borough Press to bring this story to life.” 

Ann Bissell added: “This is the memoir I have been looking for – a book that offers a wider vision of empathy and hope at a time of global crisis. Marianne’s writing is unique: urgent, informed, and accessible. Her interweaving of parental loss and the healing of a family wound, with Shetland’s landscape, cultural and ecological history, delivers the blend of personal and universal narrative memoir we love to publish at Borough. The Shetland Way will be something truly special; it will start many conversations and I believe it will create change. What a privilege it is to publish Marianne.” 

Emma Bal also commented: “This is a special story that offers a vital and local perspective on a global emergency, and importantly one of hope. I can’t wait to see Marianne’s book published by Ann and the amazing team at Borough, who understood this project from the start.” 

Congratulations, Marianne, on this fabulous news!