'Sixty Degrees North is a story that we tell, both to ourselves and to others. It is a story about where - and perhaps also who - we are.'The sixtieth parallel marks a kind of borderland. It wraps itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden and Norway; it crosses the tip of Greenland and of South-central Alaska; it cuts the great spaces of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, at the very top of the British Isles. In Sixty Degrees North, Malachy Tallack explores the places that share this latitude, beginning and ending in Shetland, where he has spent most of his life. The book focuses on the landscapes and natural environments of the parallel, and the way that people have interacted with those landscapes. It explores themes of wildness and community, of isolation and engagement, of exile and memory.In addition, Sixty Degrees North is also a deeply personal book, which begins with the author's loss of his father and his troubled relationship with Shetland. Informed by the journeys described, it moves towards a kind of resolution: an acceptance of loss, and ultimately a love of the place Tallack calls 'home'.
Malachy Tallack has written for the New Statesman, the Guardian, the Scottish Review of Books, Caught By the River and many other publications, online and in print. He won a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust in 2014, and the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2015. He is from Shetland, and currently lives in Glasgow.