A Line Made By Walking


Sara Baume

First Sentence:     Today, in the newspaper, a photograph of tribesmen in the Amazon rainforest.

Back of the book:

Struggling to cope with urban life – and with life in general – Frankie, a twenty-something artist, retreats to the rural bungalow on ‘turbine hill’ that has been vacant since her grandmother’s death three years earlier. It is in this space, surrounded by nature, that she hopes to regain her footing in art and life. She spends her days pretending to read, half-listening to the radio, failing to muster the energy needed to leave the safety of her haven. Her family come and go, until they don’t and she is left alone to contemplate the path that led her here, and the smell of the carpet that started it all.

Finding little comfort in human interaction, Frankie turns her camera lens on the natural world and its reassuring cycle of life and death. What emerges is a profound meditation on the interconnectedness of wilderness, art and individual experience, and a powerful exploration of human frailty.

Quotes from the book:

“Objects don’t seem incongruous if they’ve been there forever; doings don’t seem ridiculous if they’ve been done that way forever.”

The ability to talk to people: that’s the key to the world. It doesn’t matter whether you are able to articulate your own thoughts and feelings and meanings or not. What matters is being able to make the noises which encourage others to feel comfortable, and the inquiries which present them with the opportunity to articulate their thoughts and feelings and meanings, the particulars of their existences, their passions, preoccupations, beliefs. If you can talk to other people in this way, you can go—you can get—anywhere in this world, in life.

“We used to share the same bathwater, I think, and yet now, somehow, it has become awkward just to say goodbye.”

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Last Sentence:     Art, and sadness, which last for ever.