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Book Launch At Caithness Horizons

18th October 2013

Photograph of Book Launch At Caithness Horizons

Caithness is the setting of ‘Call of the Undertow’, a powerful debut novel by writer Linda Cracknell, who travels to Caithness Horizons, Thurso on Saturday 26th October as part of a book launch tour.

Linda Cracknell has made regular walking and exploring visits to Caithness since 2008. The contrast in the physical environment of the far north with her home in Highland Perthshire made a powerful impression on her.

‘Although I’ve always felt most excited in mountainous landscapes, I started to love the skies and the light here, and the ruins and incredible cliffs; the birds; the savagery of the weather sometimes. I read somewhere that walking is ‘porous’, that you get a place into your bones by walking it, and that seemed to start to happen.’

A closer knowledge of Caithness history began to work on the author’s creative imagination, and a story began to emerge.

‘When I read some of the mysterious stories local to Dunnet Bay, and discovered, as a map-addict, that early map-maker Timothy Pont had been Minister at Dunnet, it accumulated into a contemporary story, and began to spill onto the page. The result, several years later, is ‘Call of the Undertow’.

Promoted by her publisher as ‘a beautifully written, haunting tale of motherhood, guilt, myth and redemption set on the rugged coast of Caithness at Scotland’s furthest edge’, ‘Call of the Undertow’ was officially published on 14th October, and the event at Caithness Horizons will be the first outing for the novel apart from the Edinburgh launch, and a preview event earlier this month at the highly regarded Wigtown Book Festival.

Although the author is excited about bringing the book to Caithness, she is also slightly apprehensive, aware that local readers may have a very high expectation of how Caithness comes across. Judging by reviews so far, those readers will not be disappointed:

'Linda Cracknell's Caithness rises up off the page and takes form around us... Its light and skies, rocky shores and wheeling, screaming gulls, huddled villages and craggy beaches, its grave, austere beauty... Reading this book is like being there.'
Kirsty Gunn

'Linda Cracknell’s Call Of the Undertow is one of the most haunting and evocative novels I’ve read in a long time. Her characters are compelling and completely believable, while her sensitive, lyrical depiction of the natural (and supernatural) world shows her to be among Scotland’s finest contemporary writers.'
Andrew Crumey

Already the author of two published collections of short stories, Linda Cracknell also writes drama for BBC Radio 4, and more recently edited ‘A Wilder Vein’, a non-fiction anthology published by Two Ravens Press. Glasgow-based Freight Books, which published this new novel, also plans to publish ‘Doubling Back’, a volume of non-fiction essays written in response to journeys on foot. Linda Cracknell is currently writer-in-residence at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, as well as teaching creative writing in workshops across Scotland and abroad.

Linda Cracknell reads from Call of the Undertow at Caithness Horizons, Thurso on Saturday 26th October at 7.30pm. Admission FREE - No booking necessary. There will be copies of the novel for sale on the night, and Linda will be happy to sign them.

Book Launch Event – Writer Linda Cracknell reading from and signing copies of Call of the Undertow (Freight Books, Glasgow, 2013, £8.99).
Date & Time: 26th October 2013, 7.30-9pm

Venue: Caithness Horizons
Old Town Hall
KW14 8AJ

Cost: Admission FREE


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