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Malachy Tallack

A Writer's Journey

21 May - 21 May 2022

Part of
Birnam Book Festival

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A Writer's Journey: Malachy Tallack in discussion with Linda Cracknell

Malachy Tallack speaks with Linda Cracknall about his journey through travel, nature and fiction writing.

Malachy will discuss his journey through travel, nature and fiction writing with the festival’s author in residence, Linda Cracknell, herself an acclaimed writer across these genres. 

“Illuminated By Water” will be released in July by Penguin, and is a contemplation of the appeal of fishing, articulating the inexplicable lure of the river and the endless desire to return to it, and illuminating a passion that has shaped the way so many see and think about the natural world.

Malachy Tallack is the author of a novel and two travel books, published to great acclaim, and a soon to be released book on his passion for fishing. His writing has been praised for its beauty and tenderness and its vivid evocation of place and the intimate relationship we have with both community and environment.  

In his first book “Sixty Degrees North” he explored the landscapes of the sixtieth parallel, which marks a borderland between the northern and southern worlds, and the ways that people have interacted with those landscapes, highlighting themes of wildness and community, isolation and engagement, exile and memory. It was a Radio Four Book of the Week and was described by Robert Macfarlane as “a beautiful book...that at times possesses the lucidity of the northern light in which so much of it is set." 

He followed this up with The Un-Discovered Islands, which detailed two dozen islands once believed to be real but no longer on the map; the products of imagination, deception and human error, which The Spectator called “a splendid and wistful book”. 

His widely praised first novel “The Valley At The Centre Of The World” is a vivid and lyrical evocation of life on Shetland, where the author himself grew up, and was praised by Amy Liptrot as “a moving, authentic novel of the Scottish islands in the twenty-first century”.

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Pop in to the Foyer Cafe for breakfast, grab a delicious coffee with a selection of our homemade baking or enjoy a light lunch whilst browsing on the free WiFi. Wander upstairs to view the latest of our monthly art exhibitions before visiting the world of Beatrix Potter, or the Gift Shop to purchase a special gift for your loved ones or yourself!

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We had not planned to present a hybrid festival, however that changed when one of our main authors tested positive for Covid. I greatly appreciated how the team worked with us to pivot and present remotely in part, making full use of your enhanced video conferencing equipment. As a result, we were able to deliver quite complex events with several elements all showing on screen simultaneously. The audio-visual quality was excellent, and our audiences were delighted that these events could still go ahead, in spite of Covid. The author in question was really pleased that he could join us on screen and remarked that he had not been so well supported in this way at any other festival.

Fiona Ritchie   |   Birnam Book Festival 2022

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