Two Saraband books longlisted for Highland Book Prize

Posted on November 12, 2018

Donald S Murray’s As the Women Lay Dreaming and Mandy Haggith’s The Walrus Mutterer have both made the longlist for the Highland Book Prize, which celebrates the rich culture, heritage and landscape of the Highlands.

The Walrus Mutterer, an epic tale set in northern Britain during the Iron Age, has won plaudits for being “an immersive evocation of folklore and ritual” and it was an Editors’ Choice in the latest issue of Historical Novels Review. Penny Ingham described it as “a gripping, haunting and, at times, visceral novel… Lyrical and poetic prose, the author has created a convincing and entirely believable world… One of the best books I have read so far this year.” 

As the Women Lay Dreaming, which was launched at a special event at An Lanntair in Stornoway on November 10th, is a novel of the Iolaire disaster – when more than 200 servicemen died as the HMY Iolaire sank in Stornoway harbour in 1919.

Currently the Scottish Book of the Month at Waterstones, the novel has been published to great acclaim. Allan Massie, writing in The Scotsman, called it “a classic bildungsroman… It is that rarity: a work of imagination which reads like experienced truth. It’s the kind of book you want to read again as soon as you finish it, because you know there is so much that will be revealed on that second reading: the kind of novel which can enrich your life.”

Donald S Murray will be appearing at a number of venues in the coming days and weeks:

Nov 12: Waterstones Glasgow

Nov 13: Waterstones Edinburgh

Nov 22-24: North Uist

Dec 4: Shetland Library

Feb 14-15, 2019: Pitlochry Winter Words Festival

The Highland Book Prize will be awarded for the best work published by a UK based publisher in 2018. The judging panel will announce the shortlist in March 2019, with the winner being revealed in May during the Ullapool Book Festival.