Donald S Murray

The Guga Stone

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In 1930, the last inhabitants of the isle of St Kilda were evacuated to the mainland. Shortly afterwards, following several acts of vandalism by local fishermen, Calum MacKinnon was sent back to the island to guard against further damage.Alone on the deserted island, he begins to re-imagine the conversations and stories from his years in the island port of Village Bay. He also recalls some of the experiences of its people in exile on the mainland, showing their difficulties in adjusting to a new way of life, and a diet no longer based mainly on seabirds.The vivid prose is interspersed with poetry and illustratios, creating a colourful and insightful ficionalisation of life on remote St Kilda.BACK COVER Acrobats, airmen, cormorants, cragsmen and angels leap, climb, shimmer and swoop through these pages as the story of how Calum Mackinnon was sent to guard the houses in Village Bay, St Kilda shortly after its evacuation in 1930 unfolds.While there, Calum conjures up conversations with the island's former residents, providing, through both prose and verse, fresh and often surreal insights into life on Scotland's western edge. Humorous and moving, surprising and enchanting, The Guga Stone celebrates the miracles and wonders of an existence eked out on cliff and crag, sea-rock and skerry, the exile of its people, too, far from their native shores.Enlightening as fulmar oil, exquisite as the flavour of the guga itself, The Guga Stone reveals the small and great truths of the human imagination as it recreates that island's tales and legends for our time.
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186 printed pages
Original publication
2013

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