Monday, August 3, 2009

Robin Jenkins Literary Award - on the short list!

I'm delighted to find that my unpublished book Doubling Back based on walks taken with feet and pen during 2007 and 2008, is on the first ever shortlist of the RJLA. This new award is for books that have the environment, trees and forestry in Scotland as a key theme or setting, in the name of the wonderful writer of rural Scotland, and beyond, Robin Jenkins.

In a recent edition of The Author, Janie Hampton wrote about the 'torture' of shortlists, the waiting, the disappointments... But I'll just enjoy it and forget for the moment about the announcement of the winner at the Edinburgh Book Festival on 24th August. The endorsement of the judges this far is a prize in itself.

Here's a bit of blurb about the book:

In this collection of non-fiction essays, I walk and write pathways into life. Following journeys made by particular people or stories of habitual use and purpose, I draw on imagination, memory, myth, history, and explore the human resonances layered in what we might perceive as ‘wild’ land, seeking the ghosts that remain. As I embrace middle age, these walks have me ‘doubling-back’ to places and journeys which have held a personal meaning in the past. Along the way, I reflect on how and why we walk and the relationship of walking to creativity, writing and literature. The rhythms of the walk inflect the prose and in the process some new stories are created.

Two hundred miles along a drove road between Skye and Perthshire; a hillside at Abriachan in springtime which inspired Jessie Kesson’s words; a reflective pilgrimage across the Border to Holy Island; the possibilities for enchantment whilst walking to work through Old Town Edinburgh; an autumnal circuit around the Birks of Aberfeldy to confirm a sense of home – Scottish walks form the backbone of the collection. My experience of the natural and cultural environment of Scotland acts as a touchstone for diversions to other places: Medieval pathways in Spain which provide a walk-able legacy of religious tolerance; Hardy’s Cornwall; the art of barefoot travel in a Kenyan village; a re-telling on foot of a dramatic wartime escape through Norwegian mountains; and my first Alpine summit, climbed in memory of my father.


Tousled Raven said...

Fantastic news! I've got my digits crossed for the 24th August ...but more than anything I'm looking forward to reading this book when it's published. Loved the story you did on Rum - just brill.
Now please enjoy the glow of the joy from the of recognition for your walking and writing work! Well done to you and richly deserved matter the outcome.

Linda Cracknell said...

Thank you, thank you!

cybercrofter said...

Well done Linda. Isn't it exciting!! I'm wondering if the Forestry Commission might support some kind of walking/writing event for all the Robin Jenkins shortlisted writers, maybe in a wood somewhere?

Mark Alvarez said...

I've just gotten back to a computer. Congratulations! It does feel wonderful, doesn't it, when something you've been crafting in love, hope, and solitude is recognized by others.