Contemporary fiction

Independent People, Halldór Laxness

Independent People Haldòr Laxness The miserly cast of a flock of worm-ridden sheep and a handful of souls in a remote Icelandic valley seems hardly the fodder for an epic tale – yet Laxness delivers to the reader the complexities of human psychology and the economic, political fortunes of nation states. These facets are all […]

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My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend Elena Ferrante The first in Ferrante’s series of novels set in and around Naples My Brilliant Friend concerns the early childhood and teenage years of the principal characters Elena and Lila. The writing is deft, expertly rendering the claustrophobic poverty and vendetta stricken streets of 1950s southern Italy. The lens of an […]

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Rise

RISE This is the opening of my screenplay Rise, winner of the 2018 George Mackay Brown Writing Competition. It was inspired by two Margaret Tait poems, Queen on Horseback and Face-kicking, both from her collection The Hen and the Bees. An audio recording of Queen on Horseback is also available at at the Scottish National Poetry Library sound archive. [...]Read more of Rise...

Swan

She counted them on her fingers; one, two, three; like swans flying overhead with grey undersides and cloud bellies. One, two, three. A swish through the air, a brief, repeating, soft-whistling note the only thing that drew attention to the animal’s passing. From where she stood at the edge of the wood she had no […]

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Free Reads & Book Reviews

Free Reads A winter and summer feast Countrywoman's Diary II - December Countrywoman's Diary I – August This year marks the centenary of the birth of the Orcadian film maker, writer and poet Margaret Tait. Her writing was inspiration for this screenplay which won the 2018 George Mackay Brown Fellowship Writing Competition. Rise Short stories [...]Read more of Free Reads & Book Reviews...