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100 Days on Holy Island: A Writer's…
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100 Days on Holy Island: A Writer's Exile

by Peter Mortimer

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Epigraph
The visitor passes through a place,
the place passes through the pilgrim.
Cynthia Ozick
Only earth and sky matter.
Annie Proulx
I was better with the sound of the sea
Than with the voices of men
And in desolate and desert places
I found myself again.
Hugh MacDiarmid
[Holy Island is] an afterthought of land.
Melvyn Bragg
Dedication
This book is dedicated to the memory of my father, Alex Mortimer, 1915-2001.
First words
The idea to spend 100 days on Holy Island took root in February 2000 when my partner, the writer Kitty Fitzgerald, and I rented a cottage on Lindisfarne (the island's alternative name) one ferociously windy winter weekend.
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In 2001 the author decided to spend 100 days living alone on Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, off the Northumbrian coast. The tiny island is noted for the reticence of its locals, and Mortimer describes his struggle for acceptance as well as his musings on the nature of solitude and religion.
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