Vashti Bunyan is an English singer-songwriter. Bunyan released her debut album, Just Another Diamond Day, in 1970. The album sold very few copies and Bunyan, discouraged, abandoned her musical career. By 2000, her album had acquired a cult following; it was re-released and Bunyan recorded more songs, initiating the second phase of her musical career after a gap of thirty years. She subsequently released two albums: Lookaftering in 2005, and Heartleap in 2014. Wayward is her first book.
This is a magical and transporting memoir, relating how Bunyan
ducked out of the London music scene, instead choosing to make her
way - by foot and wagon - to the Outer Hebrides. Her mesmerising
viewpoint and lyrical outlook on life will be familiar to anyone
who, like me, loves her music, but Wayward proves that Bunyan has
lived the best possible life, on her own idiosyncratic terms
A gorgeous account of outsiderness and survival; a map of how to live outside the boundaries and of striving for an authentic artistic life. A quietly defiant and moving work
Vashti Bunyan possesses one of the purest voices English music has ever produced, and now that unique otherness translates to literature. Wayward is an epic in miniature, a mythical tale with echoes of her ancestor John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, made all the more magical by the fact it actually happened. I loved - and lived - every sentence
A quietly beautiful and gentle read, full of light and kindness. Underneath its easygoing exterior is a proud story about gut instinct and persistence, and I have much affection for what it showed me about choosing a pace of life, and how we might find our place in the world as we move through it
*Jennifer Lucy Allan*
This simply beautiful memoir cast the same spell on me as Vashti Bunyan's music. Her account of a legendary road-trip taken at horse pace through a gone England is hedgerow rich in vivid detail. But this is no nostalgia piece: Bunyan is needle-sharp on the way so many men tried to cut her - and her songs - down to size: essential reading for women in the arts now. I read the last pages through tears, deeply moved by the wilder life she embarked on, step by step, song by song. If you loved Patti Smith's Just Kids then you need to read Wayward next.
*Tanya Shadrick, author of The Cure for Sleep*
Bunyan weaves her captivating nomad's tale with a rambler's eye for detail and a dreamer's visionary ambition. Her perpetual search for utopia, and the experiences behind her songs of innocence, are romantic and revelatory
Defiant and surprisingly unromantic, painting her cross-country journey in shades of muddy green, this is a fascinating and brave memoir
Like the music she makes, Vashti Bunyan's writing in this memoir of an unusual musical life is ethereal and dream-like, skipping from one thought to the next, lingering long enough to leave a clear impression but not to overburden the reader's experience . . . a story of finding meaning in the right location, with beautiful music as a backdrop