Starting on Thursday September 3rd and running until Saturday 5th, the 2015 Skye Book Festival brings another series of events presenting chapters in the lives of internationally famous authors alongside local writers, artists and story-tellers.
This year’s Festival welcomes Val McDermid who is one of the biggest names in crime writing. Val will talk about her latest book Splinter The Silence her most gripping, chilling, suspenseful novel yet, featuring two of the most distinctive and unforgettable characters in crime fiction: Tony Hill and Carol Jordan.
Further murder (of the fishy kind) follows, as depicted by Donald S. Murray at his Herring Tales book launch - the story that was of central importance to the lives of our ancestors, noting how both it - and those involved in their capture – were celebrated in the art, literature, craft, music and folklore of life in northern Europe. He will be joined by the fantastic illustrator Douglas Roberston who, as a visual artist, has worked on a number of Donald’s books.
Ian G Macdonald will also launch his new book Memories of a Portree Kid which looks at village life from a by-gone period whilst DJ MacLennan examines the future with his new book Frozen to Life: A Personal Mortality Experiment.
A further new title launched at the Festival will be Gaelic in the Landscape: Place-names of the Isle of Skye. Eilidh Scammell and Dr Jacob King have worked with local people to record many of these place-names that might otherwise have been lost – the presentation will be given by Robyn Ireland SNH’s Gaelic Officer.
Award-winning children’s author Theresa Breslin has collected the best-loved tales from all over Scotland in her book An Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Mythical Creatures. Retelling each in its own individual style, she presents funny tales, moving tales and enchanting fairy tales. Each story is brought to life with exquisite illustrations by Scottish fine artist Kate Leiper. And, Anne McAlpine will share her exciting new children’s book The Silver Locket to the children of Staffin and Kilmuir Primary Schools.
Michael Russell will introduce his captivating debut novel, Lie of the Land, set in a post-apocalyptic near-future Scotland, predominantly in the fictional Highland coastal village of Inverlair. And, Rody Gorman presents his latest work, Sweeney: An Intertonguing which is based on the medieval Gaelic romance The Frenzy of Sweeney. It consists of a multiform, multilingual and polysemantic series of poems, songs and prose passages in Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic and English.
Add to the programme the annual PBFA Antiquarian Book Festival, Poetry Readings, Book-binding Workshops and a Poetry Walk around Portree and the three days of the Festival seem just too short a time.
But to finish off, on the Saturday evening The Highland Voyage of Para Handy and the puffer crew comes to life again commemorating a voyage from Glasgow to Skye. What results is a comedic tongue-in-ear romp by three troubadours of this cross-culture: Iain MacLeod, Russell Hunter and Allan MacDonald, who add their own diverse musical talents to put the icing on the black pudding. So, it’s anchors a-weigh for a musical cruise aboard the good ship Vital Spark, Neil Munro’s iconic Clyde puffer. A fitting climax to another exciting Skye Book Festival.
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