Christmas Stories

by George Mackay Brown

Shorter Reads Family Drama Books of the Month Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of Christmas Stories

A truly lovely collection of Christmas stories written by one of Scotland’s most loved writers.

Thirty beautiful short stories written for Christmas sit within the pages of this book. George Mackay Brown (1921-1996) from Orkney, wrote these tales during the 1970’s and 80’s, and yet they somehow sit outside of time. As William S. Peterson says in the introduction: “Some of them are set in the ancient or medieval world; others seem to be taking place in the early twentieth century. Always, however, he insists upon collapsing the dissecting between the present and a shadowy past…”. Sometimes Christmas is obvious, while at others there is just a whisper as they sit within the Advent season, but these stories hold tradition, myth, childhood, family, and what it is to be human during this time of year. The wood and lino cuts are an additional treat. A story that is a particular favourite of mine is Dialogue at the Year’s End which sent a shiver of goosebumps cascading down my arms with the kiss of a fairytale, and brought a tear to my eye. Christmas Stories is the most lovely festive treasure, and would make a lovely stocking filler as it brings alive the human spirit and joy of Christmas. 

Liz Robinson

Christmas Stories Synopsis

George Mackay Brown was born in Stromness, Orkney, on 17 October 1921. He died there in 1996.

His many awards include a Society of Authors Travel Award, 1968; SAC Literature Prize, 1969; Katherine Mansfield Menton Short Story Prize, 1971; Hon. LLD from Dundee University, 1977; OBE, 1974; James Tait Black Memorial Prize 1987 (for The Golden Bird). He was nominated for the Booker Prize in 1994 for his novel Beside the Ocean of Time.

He grew up in fairly straitened circumstances as his father was unable to work through illness. Mackay Brown himself suffered from tuberculosis as a young man. In his twenties he worked as a journalist on the Orkney Herald, but at the age of 30 he left Orkney to study at Newbattle Abbey College, near Edinburgh, where he met Edwin Muir, who was Warden at the time, a meeting that had a profound influence on him.

He left behind him an extraordinary body of work: novels, short stories, poetry, journalism and even two operatic collaborations with Peter Maxwell Davis.

Christmas Stories gathers together all the short stories that he wrote each Christmas for The Herald and/or The Tablet during the 1970s and early '80s. Some have been published in other collections, some here for the first time. But every single one of them is a finely crafted jewel, every one of them a resonance of that totally original voice that can only be that of Mackay Brown.

The book includes wood and lino cuts John Lawrence and Rosemary Roberts.

His first book of poems "The Storm" is also published by Galileo, with an introduction by Kathleen Jamie.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781912916344
Publication date: 29th October 2020
Author: George Mackay Brown
Publisher: Galileo Publishers
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 192 pages
Collections: Christmas Book Recommendations 2021!,
Primary Genre Family Drama
Other Genres:
Win a copy of The Christmas Bookshop and Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan

Win a copy of The Christmas Bookshop and Christmas at the Island Hotel by Jenny Colgan

Closing date: 10/12/2021

Christmas is coming and Jenny Colgan has TWO festive stories that will warm your heart this winter. The Christmas Bookshop is a "gorgeous feel-good Christmas story containing family complications, new friendships, and enticing romance." Liz Robinson, Expert Reviewer And Christmas at the Island Hotel, "Set on a Scottish island this lovely Christmas romance wraps gentle humour, beautiful relationships, and spark filled plot up in the most deliciously warming hug." Liz Robinson, Expert Reviewer To celebrate the release of this festive fare, we're working with Sphere to offer you the opportunity to win both books. This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 10th December 2021. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

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Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781912916535
Publication date: 07/10/2021
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781912916344
Publication date: 29/10/2020
Format: Hardback

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