Remaking the Voyage

BookRemaking the Voyage

Remaking the Voyage

New Essays on Malcolm Lowry and 'In Ballast to the White Sea'

Liverpool English Texts and Studies, 86


July 31st, 2020



Other Formats



An Open Access edition of this book will be available on the Liverpool University Press website and the OAPEN library on publication.

‘Who ever thought they would one day be able to read Malcolm Lowry’s fabled novel of the 1930s and 40s, In Ballast to the White Sea? Lord knows, I didn’t’ – Michael Hofmann, TLS

This book breaks new ground in studies of the British novelist Malcolm Lowry (1909–57), as the first collection of new essays produced in response to the publication in 2014 of a scholarly edition of Lowry’s ‘lost’ novel, In Ballast to the White Sea. In a detailed introduction, editors Helen Tookey and Bryan Biggs show how the publication of In Ballast sheds new light on Lowry as both a highly political writer and a writer deeply influenced by his native Merseyside, as his protagonist Sigbjørn Hansen-Tarnmoor walks the streets of Liverpool, wrestling with his own conscience and with the pressing questions of class, identity and social reform. The introduction is followed by chapters in which renowned Lowry scholars and newer voices explore key aspects of the novel and its relation to the wider contexts of Lowry’s work, including his complex relation to socialism and communism, the symbolic value of Norway and things Nordic, and the significance of tropes of loss, hauntings and doublings. The book draws on the unexpected opportunity offered by the rediscovery of In Ballast to look afresh at Lowry’s oeuvre, to ‘remake the voyage’.


Remaking the Voyage makes a major contribution to Lowry studies, perhaps unsurprisingly given the strength of the academic contributors. It genuinely advances humanistic knowledge of Lowry’s In Ballast, additionally offering an intriguing identity politics argument or interpretive nexus, comprising cultural and geographical location, class and political awareness/affiliation.’
- Professor Richard J. Lane, Vancouver Island University

Author Information

Helen Tookey is a poet, writer and editor. She studied philosophy and English literature at the universities of Sheffield, Cambridge and Oxford, and currently teaches creative writing at Liverpool John Moores University. Her 2014 poetry collection Missel-Child was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Prize for Best First Collection 2015 and her 2019 collection City of Departures has been shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection 2019. She has published critical work on modernist writers including Anaïs Nin and Malcolm Lowry. Bryan Biggs has worked at Bluecoat over four decades, overseeing many aspects of the arts centre’s work, from gallery exhibitions to capital development. He has been involved in other cultural organisations on Merseyside including the boards of FACT and Liverpool Biennial. He recently oversaw Bluecoat’s tercentenary year, 2017, and creation of a new website, My Bluecoat, featuring material from the arts centre’s archive.