Things I Learned From Falling

An inspirational and gripping first-person account of determination, adversity and survival against the odds.

‘What a story; never heard a story like that before’ – Chris Evans

‘Uplifting and brave’ – Stylist

‘A riveting account of loneliness, anxiety and survival’ – Cosmopolitan

‘A vibrantly physical book’ – the Guardian

‘Claire Nelson relives a life-changing four days’ – The Times


USA / Canada
New Zealand

In 2018, writer Claire Nelson made international headlines when she fell over 25 feet after wandering off a trail in a remote corner of Joshua Tree National Park. The fall shattered her pelvis, leaving her at the bottom of a canyon, immobile and alone. There Claire lay for the next four days, surrounded by boulders that muffled her cries for help, yet exposed her to the merciless California sun above. Her rescuers had not expected to find her alive.

In her exquisitely written, intense, and intimate debut memoir, Things I Learned from Falling, Claire Nelson shows us not only how she survived, but also why she fell. What propels a successful thirty-something to hike a desert trail in unfamiliar terrain, on the other side of the globe from her home, without telling a soul where she would be? Why do we long to be seen but ache to be free? How do we decide what matters when we’re relentlessly pushed toward the things that don’t?

Things I Learned from Falling is at times a gripping account of one woman’s desperation to survive, and at others a meditation on the many stumbles and recoveries that make up a life. In what will surely be a classic adventure memoir to sit alongside books like Wild by Cheryl Strayed and Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston, Things I Learned from Falling is a page-turning, spellbinding story that will follow readers long after the last page.

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