The theme is blood at this year’s Faclan

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Now in its fifth year Faclan 2015 will once again see some of the leading writers, thinkers and commentators coming together in Stornoway.

The event takes place at the town’s an Lanntair arts centre from October 28th to 31st.

This time they are united by the theme of blood. Yet this is no crime spatter-fest or gothic horror convention, for blood also represents family, medicine, genealogy.

It is a central metaphor for our common humanity, our lives and our mortality.

Among those appearing are Britain’s pre-eminent brain surgeon, Henry Marsh, sharing a stage with top psychologist Stephen Grosz, chaired by author and practicing GP, Gavin Francis.

Showcased will be best-sellers by the authors of H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald and The Shepherd’s Life, James Rebanks.

The Shroud of Turin, the most holy relic in Christendom will be expounded on and thirteen year old Jake McGowan-Lowe will speak about his Science prize short-listed book Jakes Bones.

There will also be a range of authors speaking in An Lanntair and local libraries throughout Leis and Harris as part of Faclan Og (Young Faclan).

But yes, there will be bloodshed too with Francis Larson’s Severed, the history of decapitation; from shrunken heads to Islamic State, Malcolm Mackay from Stornoway - the new star of Tartan Noir - Iain Overton on the bloody history of the gun and one of Britain’s most renowned criminologists, Professor David Wilson, on serial killers.

The unique culture of the Islands is central to the aims and work of Faclan and there will also be two local book launches from local publishers Acair and the Island Book Trust promoting local authors.

An Lanntair’s Head of Visual Arts and Literature, Roddy Murray said: “The programme this year is compelling and progressive. There are amazing combinations on the brain and the mind, from healers to killers, from the scalpel to the bullet, and a deep exploration of the human territory of family and bereavement.

“It’s complemented by a film programme that includes documentaries The English Surgeon on Henry Marsh’s work in the Ukraine, and The Shepherds of Berneray from 1981 along with world cinema such as Kurosawa’s Throne of Blood and Mallicks’s Badlands.

“All this happening in the stunning setting of the Outer Hebrides. Really, what’s not to like?”

For more details on Faclan please visit the website at: here