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In 2013 I made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, I began the journey after several years of mental illness, hoping the pilgrimage would heal me. For ten months I hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres. The Crossway is an account of this extraordinary adventure.

It was a BBC Book of the Week and awarded the Edward Stanford Travel Memoir of the Year 2019. It was also shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize, the RSL Ondaatje Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the Deborah Rogers Foundation Award.

‘Beautifully written, filled with strange encounters and extraordinary language, The Crossway is a meditation, an escape, a confrontation, a losing and a finding. It is a timely antidote to our disconnected times.’

Philip Hoare, author of Leviathan


‘The extraordinary story of a pilgrimage to find out the meaning of pilgrimage. Completely absorbing, personal, often funny, and full of fascinating encounters – an enlightening book from an exciting new writer.'

Sarah Bakewell, author of At The Existentialist Café


‘The journey is remarkable – a hike of thousands of miles across Europe, undertaken with rare bravery and stamina. But what is really extraordinary about The Crossway is the writing – acutely sensitive, hyper-alert and unflagging in its exploration of the strange depths and by-ways of human belief.’

Philip Marsden, author of Rising Ground

'Having finished this account of a 5,500km pilgrimage, on foot, from Canterbury to Jerusalem, I felt dazed [...] at the strangeness and brilliance of this extraordinary travelogue.' Rebecca Armstrong, The i newspaper

'Golden prose illuminates this moving account of a pilgrimage taken for the good of the author's mental health [...] a luminous and occasionally numinous account.'

Peter Stanford, The Observer

'A first-rate writer, and a tough-minded one [...] he writes with a sort of rapturous exactitude about the peoples, climates, and landscapes he meets.'

Boyd Tonkin,

'Stagg is a fine topographical writer [...] The journey as a redemptive recovery is a well-worn trope, but there is no glib ending here. I really enjoyed this book.' 

Sara Wheeler, The Spectator

'Guy Stagg's poignant and poetic book [...] contains some captivating imagery [...] By the end of his journey he appears to have found a personal measure of salvation.' 

Christine Toomey, The TLS

'Guy Stagg follows in the footsteps of Patrick Leigh Fermor and Laurie Lee [...] a beguiling portrait of one young man's search into the hidden corners of Europe.'

Christopher Hart, The Sunday Times

'There have been some excellent footslog memoirs in recent years [...] but none describing as marathon a trek as Stagg’s.'

Blake Morrison, The Guardian

'Stagg poignantly recounts not just his own journey as a spiritually charged Paddy Leigh Fermor, but that of the saints, soldiers and pilgrims who trod the path centuries before him.' New Statesman

'The Crossway is three journeys in one: outer, inner and historical. A blistering and beautiful debut.' The Daily Telegraph

'It is epic, but always feels intimate [...] He keeps going, plodding, wading, watching, recording, looking for redemption and hope. He finds both along the way, and loses them, and finds them again.' Lilian Pizzichini, The Literary Review

'The author combines an eye for the landscape and architecture of the towns and villages he passes through with an ear for history and the conversation of the people he encounters [...] a formidable achievement.' John Ure, Country Life

'The Crossway is so rich that it's best read a few pages at a time, the pace of reading approximating the pace of the journey. Its insights, when they come, are road-tested, weather-proofed; they have the broken-in feel of real religious wisdom.'

Paul Elie, Commonweal

'The Crossway is a chronicle of fleeting encounters, but Stagg makes each of these meetings memorable [...] Such attentiveness is a rare gift.'

John Pridmore, The Church Times 

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