Deer Island by Neil Ansell

‘His story is remarkable in the frankness of its telling and the moving complexity of the teller’ The Times

‘Written with real feeling and a dose of dark wisdom.’ TLS

At the beginning of the 1980s, Neil Ansell lived in a series of squats across London, becoming part of a floating community of rough sleepers and volunteers who gave companionship and support to one another. But Britain was changing fast. Margaret Thatcher had just declared ‘there was no such thing as society’, and it was fast becoming a decade that worshipped the individual. Neil’s sense of self begain to disintegrate. He started to lose friends — some died, others disappeared, and he no longer felt safe living in this fragile community. To escape, he hitchhiked to the west coast of Scotland, ending up on Jura (also known as ‘deer island’), where he pieced himself back together in the solace and isolation. 

Deer Island beautifully weaves together Neil Ansell’s tales of the city and the wild, building a powerful meditation on place and belonging.

This is the first paperback edition of the highly praised memoir.


Published in February 2024. Out Now.


In stock


Neil Ansell lived for several years in the Simon Community in London, before finally finding a home in Wales. He now lives in the Scottish Highlands. His other books are Deep Country, The Last Wilderness and The Circling Sky.

Additional information

Weight300 g


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