Scottish Books Long Weekend




Birlinn General
FORMAT: Paperback / softback
ISBN: 9781846975059
RRP: £8.99
PAGES: 256



By (author) George Mackay Brown; Introduction by Ali Smith

Greenvoe, the tight-knit community on the Orcadian island of Hellya, has existed unchanged for generations, but Operation Black Star requires the island for unspecified purposes and threatens the islanders’ way of life. A whole host of characters – The Skarf, failed fishermen and Marxist historian; Ivan Westray, boatman and dallier; pious creeler Samuel Whaness; drunken fishermen Bert Kerston; earth-mother Alice Voar, and meths-drinker Timmy Folster – are vividly brought to life in this sparkling mixture of prose and poetry.In the end Operation Black Star fails, but not before it has ruined the island; but the book ends on a note of hope as the islanders return to celebrate the ritual rebirth of Hellya.

Reviews of Greenvoe

'He transforms everything by passing it through the eye of the needle of Orkney' * Seamus Heaney * 'Brown is as connected to the world as any of us. He has retreated to a point where he can see the world in an internal reflection, a very clear and penetrating simplification that he could never have achieved in the midst of the hurly-burly' — Ted Hughes 'Fine delicate prose' * Publishers' Weekly * 'A precise, poetic and dazzling writer' * Guardian * 'a poetic, distinguished and totally delightful Orcadian story… full of humour and sensitivity and of the unsentimental poetry of raw experience' * Sunday Times *

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