Stornoway-based publishers Acair have burst out of lockdown with a bumper crop of new books – for all ages, in English and in Gaelic.
Seven new titles are being launched with a flourish this week, two with formal launches as part of the online version of An Lanntair’s annual literature festival, Faclan, on Saturday (21 November).
Eachdraidh le Cridhe is Cairdeas / History with Heart and Soul is the culmination of many years of research in the local community by Comunn Eachdraidh Nis.
The book has created a rich archive of the many place-names to be found throughout the community from Ness to Ballantrushal and is presented in a format that provides narrative and visual information for every village in the area.
Annie Macsween, who was closely involved with the preparation of the book commented that “this is a book created by the community for the community and providing a rich legacy for generations to come”.
The Changing Outer Hebrides, Galson and the Meaning of Place, provides a long lens on the Outer Hebrides, with Frank Rennie using his knowledge of his home village of Galson as the prism for this multi-dimensional narrative.
John A. Love, the well-known South Uist author commented that Frank “reveals a deep and diverse experience of his home turf (and its highly successful community buy-out) to weave an innovative, cohesive and thought-provoking narrative.”
Acair manager Agnes Rennie said: “Acair is pleased to work with An Lanntair to contribute to this year’s Faclan, which like so many other festivals has had to be organised as a series of online events. We will miss the opportunity to meet with readers but hope that the events will reach a wide audience and provide an opportunity for a different kind of conversation.”
This week we will also see the release of Canna Schooldays by Kate Riley, whose book was prompted by her own time as the resident teacher on Canna.
Using school archives and other papers, she gives a highly readable account of a small island school and the many pupils and teachers that passed through its doors.
Book Week Scotland will provide the platform for the release of Òran mo Sheanar, written by Gaelic writer Catrìona Lexy Chaimbeul.
Beautifully illustrated by the Scottish illustrator Eilidh Muldoon, this delightful story shares the relationships and passing time between three generations of one family.
Acair also publish Seo Cù, ‘S e Caora a th’ ann an Ciara and Mo Chiad Leabhar Eun as part of the annual Bookbug selection. They hope the release of these books encourages more children to start reading for pleasure.
Acair books are available from the Acair website at https://www.acairbooks.com, at bookshops and other outlets across Scotland. The publishers encourage all readers to support local shops.