Lovely review of Kari Gislason’s The Promise of Iceland, by Lee McGowan. I’m negotiating with the inimitable Lee to grace us with a guest blogpost later in the year – something to look forward to! (now to start working on Kari…) 🙂



I wish I could write about Scotland the way Kári Gíslason writes about Iceland. In his quiet, restrained and I have to say magificent memoir The Promise of Iceland he explores his love of the country, its landscape and culture, its flaws and what he misses. Better than that, he articulates a set of emotions I’ve spent the last 10 years trying to unpick and understand.

The tension between wanting to be there and the feeling that sometimes it might be better that I’m not. That to have left the place has allowed me a better understanding of it, a deeper sense of respect and admiration and crucially a pragmatic and objective sense of clarity. I love Scotland the way Joyce loved and Kári loves their respective nations of birth. I want to go back to Scotland, and I know that at some point I will, I’m just not sure…

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About andreabaldwin

I'm a freelance writer, publishing travel articles and features. I also write short fiction and novels for adults, young adults and children. I've been a registered psychologist for 20 years, and my past careers have included clinical psychology, organisational psychology, and management. I'm interested in the interactions between people and places, particularly how the natural environment supports the health of individuals and communities, and the importance of caring for our environment. I'm also interested in the ways people use writing to better understand their own thoughts and feelings, and to connect with others.
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