The former Edinburgh bookseller and Edinburgh University student made his name translating children’s books into Scots, and since then has written many acclaimed works including Booker shortlisted The Testament of Gideon Mack and all-time bookseller favourite And the Land Lay Still.
His new book News of the Dead is a captivating examination of the distance between the stories we tell of ourselves and the way we are remembered. It asks, how do our roots in the land define us?
Over hundreds of years, three lives are woven together. They are all connected by Glen Conach, the home of fables and folklore hidden in the depths of the wild Scottish mountains.
In ancient Britain, the hermit Saint Conach performs impossible miracles, which survive as legend in ‘The Book of Glen Conach’.
Generations later in the nineteenth century, the book is rediscovered by charlatan Charles Gibb, who hustles his way into the big house at the heart of the village.
In the present-day, young Lachie whispers to Maja of ghosts he has seen in the glen. Reflecting back on her long life, Maja believes him, as she has some ghosts of her own.
Join us this October to hear more from James on this brilliant new book.