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TITLE
'The Envoy of the Black Pine' (2)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_CLIO_GRAY_02
PLACENAME
Tain
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
ROSS: Tain
DATE OF RECORDING
2008
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Clio Gray
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
1272
KEYWORDS
audio
literary landscapes

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This audio extract is from 'The Envoy of the Black Pine' by Clio Gray, due to be published in August 2008. It is read here by the author.

'The second section describes the island archipelago of Saaremaa off the Estonian coast, but has obvious resonances with the sprinkle of Summer Islands for example, over on the west, or places like Sangobeg and Ardneakin, in the north.

Strange are the names of those islands: Abruka, Hiiumaa, Kassari, Prangli, Vislandi... More than a thousand of them, almost two, if each rocky outcrop and reef were known, or counted, by any but the few who wedged their boats into bays too small to beach a whale-bone, to cast out their nets and lines and drag in their catch, boots jacked into crevices to halt their fall when the wind changed direction, or a wave loomed up behind them like an anvil, brutal and unexpected and three times the size of the ones that had gone before.

Tamas Swarthaar knew nothing of those other islands, knew only this small part of the bay that stretched out from Hiiumaa, and looked now across the mist-shivered causeway that linked him to his home, knew he would have to speed his work, saw the storm clouds lift from off the mainland as the sun began to sink, as if a vast blue heron had drawn its wings across the sky. He'd been stranded here once a few years before having misread the signs of the sky, and the petrels and puffins that had huddled back into their holes. The wind had swept so swiftly across the bay it had scoured the surface of the sea clean over his narrow pathway, left him cleaving to the rock with his bare hands, the spray drenching his back, filling his mouth, the fish-creel ripped from his shoulders and almost taking him with it. The few seals that had wallowed on the spare yard of shingle below him, had flumped and galumphed back into the rising waves, popped up their heads a bit way out and stayed there, staring up at him, their brown eyes full of pity, and wondering why he didn't follow.'

Clio Gray was born in Yorkshire, spent much of her childhood in Devon, and has been living in the Highlands of Scotland for the past fifteen years. She works at her local library in Tain and spends the rest of her time writing books. She won the Harry Bowling literary prize in 2004, followed by the Scotsman/Orange Short Story Award in 2006 for 'I Should Have Listened Harder', set in a Siberian prison mine. Her collection of short stories, 'Types of Everlasting Rest', was published in 2007.

Clio considers herself to be a 'natural librarian', drawing upon years of compulsive list making and information gathering to help create her inspirational plots. Her writing has attracted a lot of interest. Jan Rutherford of the Scottish Book Trust was impressed with Clio's work and paired her up with a mentor, Alan Bisset, to work on her first novel - 'Guardians of the Key' (2006), the first in a series of historical thrillers featuring Whilbert Stroop, a finder of missing persons and compulsive maker of lists. A sequel, 'The Roaring of the Labyrinth', was published in 2007.

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'The Envoy of the Black Pine' (2)

ROSS: Tain

2000s

audio; literary landscapes

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Clio Gray

This audio extract is from 'The Envoy of the Black Pine' by Clio Gray, due to be published in August 2008. It is read here by the author.<br /> <br /> 'The second section describes the island archipelago of Saaremaa off the Estonian coast, but has obvious resonances with the sprinkle of Summer Islands for example, over on the west, or places like Sangobeg and Ardneakin, in the north.<br /> <br /> Strange are the names of those islands: Abruka, Hiiumaa, Kassari, Prangli, Vislandi... More than a thousand of them, almost two, if each rocky outcrop and reef were known, or counted, by any but the few who wedged their boats into bays too small to beach a whale-bone, to cast out their nets and lines and drag in their catch, boots jacked into crevices to halt their fall when the wind changed direction, or a wave loomed up behind them like an anvil, brutal and unexpected and three times the size of the ones that had gone before. <br /> <br /> Tamas Swarthaar knew nothing of those other islands, knew only this small part of the bay that stretched out from Hiiumaa, and looked now across the mist-shivered causeway that linked him to his home, knew he would have to speed his work, saw the storm clouds lift from off the mainland as the sun began to sink, as if a vast blue heron had drawn its wings across the sky. He'd been stranded here once a few years before having misread the signs of the sky, and the petrels and puffins that had huddled back into their holes. The wind had swept so swiftly across the bay it had scoured the surface of the sea clean over his narrow pathway, left him cleaving to the rock with his bare hands, the spray drenching his back, filling his mouth, the fish-creel ripped from his shoulders and almost taking him with it. The few seals that had wallowed on the spare yard of shingle below him, had flumped and galumphed back into the rising waves, popped up their heads a bit way out and stayed there, staring up at him, their brown eyes full of pity, and wondering why he didn't follow.'<br /> <br /> Clio Gray was born in Yorkshire, spent much of her childhood in Devon, and has been living in the Highlands of Scotland for the past fifteen years. She works at her local library in Tain and spends the rest of her time writing books. She won the Harry Bowling literary prize in 2004, followed by the Scotsman/Orange Short Story Award in 2006 for 'I Should Have Listened Harder', set in a Siberian prison mine. Her collection of short stories, 'Types of Everlasting Rest', was published in 2007.<br /> <br /> Clio considers herself to be a 'natural librarian', drawing upon years of compulsive list making and information gathering to help create her inspirational plots. Her writing has attracted a lot of interest. Jan Rutherford of the Scottish Book Trust was impressed with Clio's work and paired her up with a mentor, Alan Bisset, to work on her first novel - 'Guardians of the Key' (2006), the first in a series of historical thrillers featuring Whilbert Stroop, a finder of missing persons and compulsive maker of lists. A sequel, 'The Roaring of the Labyrinth', was published in 2007.