Saturday 25 June 2022


Out this summer! THUNDERSTONE is a tale of love, loss and vintage caravans.

Excited to be back on tour with this memoir of the recent lockdown, and its aftermath in a 1984 Buccaneer caravan. I’ll be at Edinburgh International Book Festival and PoliNations Festival in Scotland this August, and Books on Tyne in November. More events and bookshop signings up and down the country are listed on the events page of my website

Endorsements so far:

Gavin Francis says: A memoir of great honesty and clarity, intimacy and subtlety, examining, among other things, illness and recovery.  It asks profound questions about the precarity of health, of art, and how to live through the storms of life with authenticity.

Dan Richards says: A courageous, compassionate, uncanny chronicle of life and loss on the fringes. Striking in its candour, brilliant in its breadth, punchy in its poetry, often very funny, Thunderstone is a unique and affecting take on road trip redemption when the wheels have fallen off.

Helen Jukes says: ‘If this is a story of grief and illness, loneliness and heartache, one is left with the feeling that here is a writer who knows better than most of us how to live.’


Lulah Ellender says: ‘In this beautiful memoir Campbell traces a season of upheaval, grief and uncertainty as she makes a home in an unusual place… An uplifting, heart-filled read full of hope and love.’

Tanya Shadrick says: ‘Such a compelling account of deliberate living… Completely transporting, blending the intensely local with the wider world with such skill.’

Matthew Teller says: Compassionate and responsive, Nancy Campbell writes with insight of a life lived on the fringes. There is courage here, in the sharing of emotion and self-critique amid catastrophe, but THUNDERSTONE goes well beyond mere memoir. Nancy is a badass, a wild woman corralling experiences of poetry, humanity and the natural world to shape visions of new ways forward for us all. Her forgotten nettle-patch beyond the boundaries of civilisation becomes a resonant setting for what is a work of the richest travel literature, written from a place of deliberate isolation. You carry it with you, long after finishing.

Kerri ní Dochartaigh says: ‘An utterly beautiful, life-affirming, soul-shaking, heart-breaking wonder of a book.’

Friday 30 October 2020

Fifty Words for Snow

After a year of voyaging through dictionaries in search of snow stories from around the world, I'm over the moon to announce my new book Fifty Words for Snow published this week by Elliott & Thompson. 

Fifty Words for Snow covers the alphabet from avalanche (French) to zud (Mongolian). It is a compendium of worldwide winter words: from American Sign Language (via a story of snowboarding at the Deaflympics) and Hawaiian (how snow comes to the aid of environmentalists protesting a giant telescope on a sacred mountain) to Tibetan (the beautiful snow lotus, which is collected for its medicinal uses) and Russian (the sastrugi which bedevil explorers in Antarctica yet help them orient their steps). I look at contemporary kunstschnee in movies such as Red Sparrow and Bladerunner 2, and discover the legends surrounding Itztlacoliuhqui, the terrifying ancient Aztec god of Frost.

Fifty Words for Snow can be ordered online through many retailers including Waterstones and Blackwells, or any independent bookshop. Please order from small businesses where possible, as these vital need support now more than ever.


Friday 19 April 2019

Villa Concordia

Last week I arrived at the Internationales Künstlerhaus Villa Concordia in Bamberg, Germany where I will be based for the next eleven months as a Literature Fellow. The Künstlerhaus hosts a number of artists, writers and composers from Germany and one other country each year, with scholarships provided by the Free State of Bavaria. You can see below the warm welcome given to the British artists and our German colleagues: a personal welcome on the steps of the beautiful 18th-century building.

I'm excited to be participating in a few cultural events in Bamberg and Munich during May: details here.

Thursday 21 March 2019

Rathbones Folio Prize

The Library of Ice has been longlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2019, open to all works of literature written in English and published in the UK. The Academy judges Kate Clanchy (chair), Chloe Aridjis and Owen Sheers nominated 20 books (pictured above) for the £30,000 prize, which will be announced on 20 May. Congratulations to my fellow nominees!

 I'm very grateful to the Academy, and to all my readers and reviewers for their belief in the book.

Saturday 2 February 2019

Italian edition of 'The Library of Ice'

On 30 January the Italian publishing house Bompiani released La Biblioteca del Ghiaccio, a new translation of The Library of Ice by Andrea Asioli. Italian readers will be able to make discoveries about ice not only in the polar regions but also closer to home: for example, the book recounts the role of the weather on the Italian Front during World War I (or the Winter War) and the early Italian icehouses which inspired 17th-century garden designer John Evelyn. I'm delighted to join the ranks of English-language authors published by Bompiani, including AL Kennedy, George Orwell, Ruth Rendell, Patti Smith and Evelyn Waugh. More details here.

Sunday 23 December 2018

Winter Roses

Canal Wreath by Phil Speight

This year I was commissioned to write a winter poem for The Poetry Society. I decided to take as my theme the hard graft that goes into maintaining a narrowboat during the coldest part of the year, as well as a life aboard, in particular the restoration of the traditional 'roses and castles' decorations.

The poem appears on the reverse of cards (blank inside) with a gorgeous wreath by traditional canal painter Phil Speight; sets can be purchased via The Poetry Society shop or in the Poetry Society Cafe in London - where my Canal Laureate exhibition Outlook and Inrush is on show until 2 February 2019.

I'm sharing wreath and poem here to wish all my friends and followers a productive winter and a peaceful and happy new year.

Thursday 29 November 2018

The Library of Ice: Reviews

It's one month since the publication of The Library of Ice, and I'm grateful that the book has received incredibly perceptive and positive reviews. My thanks to all the reviewers, and a special shout out to Patrick Barkham for selecting The Library of Ice as one of the Best Books of 2018 in the nature category in The Guardian. Here's a round up of reviews available online - click on the link to read in full.
  • "A refreshing lack of romanticism." Gavin Francis in The Guardian
  • "Campbell ... has invented a new kind of time-travel-writing. She is, unquestionably, one of our brightest stars." Horatio Clare in The Spectator
  • "At the end of her wanderings, which are simply but beautifully related, Ms Campbell returns to her few belongings in storage in London. Nothing much remains; treasures have broken; all is in flux, like the heaving, disappearing icebergs she has left behind, with their fragile cargo of human remains.' Anonymous, reviewed with Christopher Pinney's The Waterless Sea in The Economist
  • "An intellectual omnivore..." Barbara Kiser in Nature
  • "Campbell’s book puts a personal slant on the conservation of texts and languages, on the importance of saving both centuries of human endeavor and the landscapes that inspired them." Anna Souter in Hyperallergic
  • "In this journey, she has joined the dots between nations who don’t always recognise their primary interdependence." Sally Moss in ClimateCultures
  • "an essential read for anyone interested in the mutable, multi-faceted qualities of ice". Dani Redd in The Island Review