Caithness writer George Gunn is touring the north and west with his latest publication – better known for his poetry and drama, his new work, “The Great Edge” is a novel, his first venture into prose fiction.
He hopes that people in Caithness and Sutherland already familiar with his work will recognise their home counties despite its re-imagined nature, and take an interest in the novel, which was short-listed for the 2016 Dundee International Book Prize.
The novel is set entirely in Caithness, but its themes are topical, contemporary, and of global concern. The publisher, Grace Note Publications, describes Gunn as “a writer whose work is rooted in, though never limited by, his native Caithness in the Scottish Highlands”, and the narrative of The Great Edge spans time and space in epic proportions. It weaves several very different story-lines in parallel, harnessing together characters and mythical episodes from periods as different as the catastrophic consequences of a tsunami that swept across prehistoric Caithness and Sutherland, to the Christianisation of the Caithness Picts, to the complex personal and international implications of the decommissioning of the nuclear installations at Dounreay.
George Gunn says: “My heartland is Caithness and Sutherland. These days we’re more surrounded by print and image material than we’ve ever been, but it’s hard to get my books into the hands of the people I write about and for. We’re creating reading events because I want people to read this book and talk about it. It’s a modern story, and it has a lot to say about rural Highland communities and what I see affecting them. The 21st-century is not an easy time, but people need encouragement to examine and make choices about common Scottish values, and our Highland values in particular. I want folk of all ages to get stuck in to discussion about life here right now, and get young folk thinking ahead and being bold about what they want from the future.”
The following tour dates are confirmed, and books will be on sale on the night:
November 15 – Ceilidh Place Bookshop, Ullapool.
November 16 – Timespan, Helmsdale.
November 22 – Melness Village Hall.
The Great Edge (ISBN: 978-1-907676-94-9) is published by Grace Note Publications CIC www.gracenotepublications.co.uk