Tania Skarynkina, poet and essayist, was born in 1969 in Smarhon, Belarus. This book of literary essays was published in 2015 and includes recollections of her childhood in Smarhon interwoven with thoughts on poets, philosophers and world literature as a whole. Fresh and engaging, it is a Window into Another Life.
Jim Dingley, who has a lifetime’s experience of translating Belarusian into English, is currently working on this project with Scotland Street Press.
‘I can see the disgust on the face of one neighbor when Jack, the farmer, asked to lend a man, produced a land girl.’
Mona McLeod worked in Kirkubrightshire during the second World War, providing the skilled labour needed on farms before mechanization. The girls were given heavy agricultural work in fields, with animals, carrying hundred weight sacks, sawing wood, felling trees, filling up rat holes. It was a tough way to grow up, but this illustrated memoir provides a valuable record of a time when women faced the rigorous physical challenges involved in winning the war at home.
About the author Born in 1922 in England, Mona never went back after her five years in the Land Army in Scotland. A history graduate, she taught in Edinburgh schools before becoming a freelance lecturer on aspects of Scottish culture. Her publications include Agentsof Change: Scots inPoland:1800-1918, based on family papers; it has been translated into Polish and published in Warsaw.
The cover story from the Herald Magazine (25.2.2017) can be found here.
Read the articles from the Sunday Times (26.2.2017) below or by clicking here.
This is the story of a remarkable relationship between two people who, in their different ways, have made significant contributions to the enhancement of the human spirit. From utterly different backgrounds, they sustained a partnership for nearly 20 years in which they were enabled to explore hidden gifts and to pursue unique pathways towards greater personal freedom and creativity.
This beautifully written memoir, however, is much more than the poignant history of a relationship. It is a courageous attempt to describe the journey of a soul in its commitment to plumbing new depths of truth in the search for the inner freedom for which at some level we all yearn. With searing honesty Sara Trevelyan has described a quest which has involved intense joy and excruciating pain in almost equal measure. As someone who at a significant moment entered into her story with explosive results, I approached this book with some trepidation. Such apprehension was not misplaced. Sara’s account demonstrates that when we tap into the divine energies within ourselves and each other, we are likely to be launched on a pilgrimage which takes us into places of agonising loneliness and also into the contrasting terrain of indescribable ecstasy. There are frequent temptations to abandon the journey altogether but fidelity to the quest can lead to the greatest joy that human beings can ever experience. To read this memoir is to be given glimpses of that joy and perhaps to find the courage to face the dangers and the pain which inevitably await the determined spiritual seeker.
Brian Thorne Co-founder, The Norwich Centre for Personal, Professional
and Spiritual Development; Lay Canon, Norwich Cathedral
What was it like to be married to Scotland’s most famous prisoner?
Sara Trevelyan was independent, clever, and privileged. She was a qualified doctor who campaigned for penal reform. She fell in love with and in 1980 married Jimmy Boyle, a convicted murderer who had become a famous writer and sculptor. For the first four years of their marriage he was in jail, visits were few and their life lived under the scrutiny of the media. In this intimate memoir, we learn why Jimmy admits, “If it hadn’t been for Sara’s courage, I would still be in prison.”
She is a sure-footed guide through the extraordinary life they were called to lead. Her description of their eventual divorce is without bitterness or resentment, rather a tale of forgiveness and compassion. As a doctor and therapist, a spokeswoman for prisoner rehabilitation, and a wife and mother Sara is a courageous voyager. She realised what a journey it took to understand and to live into the quotation from Blake, “We are put on earth a little space, That we might bear the beams of love.”
Sara Trevelyan graduated as a medical doctor in 1977 at St Thomas’s Hospital in London. She married Jimmy Boyle when he was an inmate in the Barlinnie Special Unit in 1980. After working in hospitals and medicine briefly, she left to explore mental health in the community, conducting an action research project for the Scottish Association for Mental Health. She was the co-founder and director of The Gateway Exchange in Edinburgh for eight years and for the past twenty-seven years has worked as a self employed counsellor and psychotherapist. Sara lives and works between Edinburgh and Findhorn.
The memoirs of Patience Moberly, wife to the British ambassador to Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
The ambassador’s wife knows everything, hears secrets, witnesses duplicity, but is not allowed to express a political opinion. Now, aged 93, she expresses her views plainly: the Iraq War was unnecessary and the plight of the Palestinians is appalling.
John and Patience Moberly were responsible for starting and training the first intensive Care Unit in Gaza, they were founding members of Medical Aid for Palestinians, MAP, and any proceeds from this book will go to that charity.
ISBN: 987-1-90895-01-6 Format: Trade Paperback Pages: 171 Price: £9.99 Publication: December 2015
These plays for theatre, composed between 1994 and 2004 by Jean Findlay, all have the theme of war: imagined, remembered or threatened. They are all tragi-comic and each written for a strog female lead.
The first, Enemy Territory, takes place during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia during the 1990s, and in a mental hospital in London. The main character is a pregnant housewife, a woman at the bottom of history, who has conversations or hallucinations with the likes of Socrates and Kierkegaard.
In A Phantom Lover, an 84 year old woman remembers her past as an agent in the Special Operations Executive in Cairo during World War II, memories so vivid that they bring the past to life on stage.
Little Black Raincloud is set in current day London under a terror threat. A family with a four month old baby a radio and two visitors provide wit and action while the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are clattering down Paddington Station.
Praise for previous plays
“Jean Findlay combines bruising emotional impact with infectious good humour.” – Telegraph
“Resonant, moving and unmistakably real.” – Scotsman
“An intrepid and surefooted writer… both Wildean and Platonic.” – La Reppublica
“A cross between Dario Fo and Beckett, if he’d been a woman.” – Tom Nairn, Edinburgh Evenng News
Known above all for his translations of Proust, Charles Scott Moncrieff also had his own poetry, short stories, and war serials regularly published in literary periodicals. Here for the first time is a collection of these, put together with an introduction by Jean Findlay, author of Chasing Lost Time – the life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff, Soldier, Spy and Translator (Chatto and Windus 2014, Vintage 2015, Farrar Strauss and Giroux 2015)
T. S. Eliot edited a literary magazine called the Criterion, and in 1926 he published short stories by C. K. Scott Moncrieff. These have not been published again until now, nearly a hundred years later. ANT is the name of another short story and is the title of this collection, because C. K. Scott Moncrieff was always disconcerted about the fact that the titles of his translations of Proust were too long to fit comfortably on the spine of a book. ANT fits beautifully, even horizontally. He was ant-like in his literary industry and his poems, war serials and stories are a taste of a time past, lost and regained. In June 2015 the Times Literary Supplement wrote playfully of ANT, “Why not translate Scott Moncrieff into French?”
9 Months in Tibet is about overcoming the fear of travelling alone, getting a job in Lhasa, riding a horse through Eastern Tibet, falling in love with Italian women, witnessing a violent protest between Buddhist monks and the Chinese police, and getting expelled from the country for not helping the police with their enquiries.
“A fascinating and thoroughly engrossing tale” – Alexander McCall Smith
“A highly unlikely but irresistible combination of Robert Byron and Hunter S. Thompson.” – Charles Ramble, Sorbonne, Paris
About the author
Rupert Wolfe Murray is an author and journalist who lived in Tibet in the 1980s. He has renovated orphanages in Romania and worked for aid agencies in Bosnia and Kosovo. He currently contributes to The Huffington Post, and has been published in Time Magazine, The Economist, The Guardian and The Scotsman.
‘Everyone has skeletons. Sometimes it’s better to keep the cupboard locked.’
Errant Blood is a literary crime thriller by a startling new Scottish writer. Eamon Ansgar has fought in Afghanistan and failed in The City. Now he wants to shut himself away in Duncul Castle, his childhood home in the Scottish Highlands. But a boy has been murdered in the local village and the people investigating are not the police. The castle is being watched. The local drug dealer wants him dead. And the girl he has tried to forget is still beautiful and living next door. Meanwhile, on the other side of Europe, a beggar guided by voices and a billionaire scientist on a stolen super-yacht are heading in his direction. Eamon is about to find out that the castle walls can’t keep out the ghosts of the past, and the living that haunt the hills and glens beyond are far worse. This novel is the first in a series set in and around the Highland village of Duncul.
About the author C. F. Peterson was born in Inverness. He lived in Africa and worked in bio-chemistry before returning home to the Scottish Highlands where he currently works as a builder. He is married and has five children.