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A Large Czesław Miłosz With a Dash of Elvis Presley by Tania Skarynkina

 

 

Skarynkina cover

 

Category: Essays
ISBN
: 978-1-910895-22-1

Format: Paperback (B Format)
Pages: 188
Price: £9.99
Release date: August 2018

Tania Skarynkina’s stories mix life in a small Belarusian town with thoughts on world literature.  Sitting by her window with a glass of cranberries in sugar syrup bought from a woman in the market who assured her they came from Karelia, she muses “Perhaps they have some kind of effect when you eat them. Spiritual maybe? So I eat and wait for the cranberries to work their magic on me.” Skarynkina is impelled to spend the last of her money on a trip to Krakow to meet Czeslaw Milosz but never finds his address, so he remains to her an idol like Elvis Presley dressed in  gold lame. Each story has a charm and imaginative flight of its own.

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.   

Translated by Jim Dingley. 

 

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The Sweet Pea Man by Graham Martin

Sweet Pea Man cover

Category: Biography
ISBN
: 978-1-910895-18-4
Format: Hardback
Pages: 470
Price: £24.99
Release date: December 2017

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Taking you on a journey through nineteenth-century British gardens, The Sweet Pea Man is a minutely researched biography of the Victorian plant hybridist Henry Eckford and his life as a breeder of the famous Grandiflora sweet peas. Born and b Born and brought up in Scotland, Henry started as a garden apprentice at Lord Lovat’s Beaufort Castle. After working his way through the gardens of Penicuik House and Fingask Castle, Henry moved to England and bred pelargoniums and dahlias in the garden of the Earl of Radnor, for which he became famous and could then begin his lifework on the cross-breeding of sweet peas which he refined in refined in Wem in Shropshire. Not only a biography of Henry Eckford, this book is filled with detailed, scientific descriptions of the fascinating world of plants.

A professional gardener for thirty-seven years, Graham Martin began at Kelsey Park, Beckenham in 1964, studying day-release at the Kent College of Horticulture and later full time at the Somerset College of Horticulture. At the same time he had a long ca time he had a long career in athletics as a club and county distance runner. In 1991 he graduated in American Studies at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales. He now lives near Selkirk in Scotland and lectures on Henry Eckford

 

 

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Don’t Look Down: An Adventurous Life with MS By Roger Chisholm

978-1-910895-20-7_Don't_Look_Down

Category: Memoir
ISBN
: 978-1-910895-20-7
Format: Hardback
Pages: 212
Price: £19.99
Release date: December 2017

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Ski-mountaineering in the Austrian Alps with only one working limb (see cover). Sailing above the Arctic Circle and west of Greenland. Walking around Annapurna. Working as a doctor in India. Exploring the tribal region of north Pakistan.

These are only some of the things consultant radiologist Roger Chisholm has done after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, aged 27.

This is a life-affirming story of enduring friendships, quiet courage and resilience. Above all, it is a story of a man determined to defy the odds and live life to the full.

About the Author

Roger Chisholm is a consultant radiologist in a Manchester teaching hospital. A one-time passionate mountaineer, after being diagnosed with MS, he rechannelled his love of wild places and adventure into offshore sailing. This is his first book.

Photo of Roger (Back Flap) v2 (IMG_0839)

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MacSonnetries

MacSonnetries
Petra RMacSonnetries cover onlyeid

Category: Poetry
ISBN
: 978-1-910895-13-9
Format: Paperback
Pages: 160
Price: £9.99
Release date: October 2017

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A collection of 154 sonnets reflecting on love, death and marriage, each taking its inspiration from Shakespeare’s 154. These poems have wit and a kick: they come from a middle-aged woman in the middle of Scotland in the 21st Century.

Petra Reid Photo2About the author
Brought up in post-industrial Lanarkshire, Petra Reid did Law at Edinburgh University and worked as a solicitor in general practice, and more recently as a welfare rights adviser. She studied Fine Art while raising a family and developed her interest in poetry through Dada. She does site specific performances at one-off events.

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It Takes a Lifetime to Become Yourself

Kay Carmichael Donnison coverIt Takes a Lifetime to Become Yourself
Kay Carmichael

Category: Memoir
ISBN
: 978-1-910895-17-7
Format: Paperback
Pages: 321
Price: £10.99
Release date:October 2017

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‘We can only honour life through an awareness of death.’

Social reformer, peace activist, policy advisor; Kay Carmichael was an influential figure in Scottish politics. Here is a collection of her autobiographical writings, her poems, speeches and articles – some from her column in New Society magazine in the 1980s. They reflect a courageous and unique view on a life that keenly observed the downtrodden and effected many of the social reforms we now take for granted. Her dying was a controversial as her life and her reflections on death are things we need to say and need to hear for ourselves and for our young.

About the author
Kay Carmichael was born in 1925 and died in 2009. After an impoverished upbringing in Glasgow’s East End, she became a social worker, university teacher, wife of an MP, a member of the Scottish Office Advisory Committee for setting up Children’s Panels, a peace activist (for which she was imprisoned), and an advisor for Harold Wilson’s Policy Unit at No. 10 Downing Street. The collection is edited by her husband David Donnison.

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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.

This translation is published by arrangement with Lohvinau publishing (Minsk, Belarus) and with Books from Belarus Project’s assistance.
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A Land Girl’s Tale

B Land Girls cover 1A Land Girl’s Tale
Mona McLeod

Category: Memoir
ISBN
: 978-1-910895-11-5
Format: Paperback
Pages: 150
Price: £9.99
Release date: September 2017

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‘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.

Author Picture

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 Agents of Change: Scots in Poland:1800-1918, based on  family papers; it has been translated into Polish and published in Warsaw.

 

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Freedom Found Reviews & Newspaper Articles

The cover story from the Herald Magazine (25.2.2017) can be found here.
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Read the articles from the Sunday Times (26.2.2017) below or by clicking here.

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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


 

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Freedom Found
Sara Trevelyan

Category: Memoir
ISBN
: 978-1-910895-07-8
Format: Paperback
Pages: 321
Price: £10.99
Release date: 8 March 2017

 

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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.”

Read some reviews and newspaper articles here.

Asarah-trevelyanbout the author

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.

Like Sara’s official Facebook page.