The theme for this year’s Faclan: The Hebridean Book Festival at An Lanntair, Stornoway, is Ultima Thule. In other words, a place in mediaeval geographies beyond the borders of the known world.
In the popular imagination, this is the northern islands and territories, but for writers it is an endless territory to explore, revisit and reinvent.
Early Bird Faclan Festival passes are now available for £55, which will give pass holders entry to all Faclan events, at a savings of over £70.
Early Bird passes are available until mid-August. Individual tickets will go on sale in mid-August with the release of the full schedule of events.
Faclan 2017 will take place from October 25th to 28th and presents a diverse, intense and ambitious programme that includes talks, discussion, film, launches, exhibitions and workshops viewed via a series of chapters and through different lenses.
Daoine nan Àite: People in Place will open the festival and bring together Gaelic cultural historian, Finlay Macleod with Murdo Macleod, long-time staff photographer with the Guardian.
They will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Gaelic publisher Acair with a look at historic photography in the Outer Hebrides, notably Robert Adam, James McGeoch and Dan Morrison.
The overture to Absolute North will be a silent film of Iceland from 1925 with live accompaniment by Jessica Danz, followed by internationally acclaimed Icelandic photographer Ragnar ‘Rax’ Axelsson whose austere yet lush images document The Last Days of the Arctic.
In similarly elegiac mood, the decline of oceanic birds is lamented by Adam Nicolson in his new book The Seabird’s Cry, described by the FT as a masterpiece.
Lands of Ice and Fire juxtaposes ancient and modern myth and reality. Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough follows the Vikings on a journey Beyond the North Lands while with Winter is Coming, Carolyne Larrington looks at how the medieval world has informed and nourished HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Grateful thanks go to Creative Scotland, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Acair, MG Alba, The Royal Literary Fund and Natural Retreats for their generous assistance with this year’s programme.
For the full programme information and to book festival passes see: www.anlanntair.com