George Mackay Brown

Author

George Mackay Brown (1921–96) was one of the twentieth century’s most distinguished and original writers. His lifelong inspiration and birthplace, Stromness in Orkney, moulded his view of the world, though he studied in Edinburgh and later at Newbattle Abbey College. In 1941 he was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and lived an increasingly reclusive life in Stromness, but he produced a regular stream of publications from 1954 onwards. These included A Calendar of Love (1967), A Time to Keep (1969), Greenvoe (1972), Hawkfall (1974), and, notably, the novel Beside the Ocean of Time (1994), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Saltire Book of the Year.

George Mackay Brown (1921–96) was one of the twentieth century’s most distinguished and original writers. His lifelong inspiration and birthplace, Stromness in Orkney, moulded his view of the world, though he studied in Edinburgh and later at Newbattle Abbey College. In 1941 he was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and lived an increasingly reclusive life in Stromness, but he produced a regular stream of publications from 1954 onwards. These included A Calendar of Love (1967), A Time to Keep (1969), Greenvoe (1972), Hawkfall (1974), and, notably, the novel Beside the Ocean of Time (1994), which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Saltire Book of the Year.

Books

  • £8.99

    Bestowed at birth with two gifts, an ivory flute and a bag of silver and gold coins, a young girl wanders through time. She is destined to pursue the dragon of war and before he consumes the world in flames, subdue him not with violence but music....

  • £8.99

    These two long stories are set, like most of George Mackay Brown’s work, in Orkney and in a period, the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when the pattern of island life, little changed since Viking times, was beginning to be threatened. The...

  • £8.99

    George’s memory is inseparable from Orkney, where he was born the youngest child of a poor family and which he rarely left. His mother was a beautiful woman who spoke only Gaelic and his father was a wit, mimic and singer, who also doubled as...

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    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...

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    Thorfinn Ragnarson is the daydreaming son of a tenant farmer, avoiding both work and school despite the best efforts of family, friends and neighbours. Instead, the boy dreams up elaborate historical fantasies of himself as a Viking traveller, a...

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    Vinland follows the turbulent life of Ranald Sigmundson, a young boy born into the Dark Ages when Orkney was torn between its Viking past and its Christian future. Struggling to understand the conflicts of his home, Ranald seeks adventure and...

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    First published in 1973 by the Hogarth Press, Magnus is George Mackay Brown’s tour de force – his most poetic and innovative book. He links the twelfth-century story of the saintly Earl Magnus of Orkney’s brutal murder at the hands of his...

  • £7.99

    George’s memory is inseparable from Orkney, where he was born the youngest child of a poor family and which he rarely left. His mother was a beautiful woman who spoke only Gaelic and his father was a wit, mimic and singer, who also doubled as...

  • £8.99

    “The Island of the Women” is George Mackay Brown’s posthumously published collection of short stories, released in 1998, two years after the author’s death. Like his previous collections, “A Time to Keep” and...

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    In this, George Mackay Brown’s first collection of short stories, the themes he would develop over his career are set out – an obsession with his home Orkney, its dark and violent Viking past, the cycle of the seasons, and the struggle...

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    First published in 1969, “A Time to Keep” has a vast cast of characters drawn from Orkney’s past and present. The stories offer a range of emotions and incidents, exploring how the new and old collide and crash in a community as...

  • £8.99

    Vinland follows the turbulent life of Ranald Sigmundson, a young boy born into the Dark Ages when Orkney was torn between its Viking past and its Christian future. Struggling to understand the conflicts of his home, Ranald seeks adventure and...

  • £7.99

    He was dead. The spirit of the Beloved One had gone on alone into the hall of death. His body was left to them for seven days yet so that they might give it a fitting farewell. Now it was time for it too to be sent after. The priests washed his old...