Bad Language will welcome Malachy Tallack to their regular literary open mic night hosted at Gulliver’s, Oldham Street on 30th May to celebrate the launch of his debut novel The Valley at the Centre of the World.

Tallack is best known for his non-fiction titles 60 Degrees North, a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week​, and The Un- Discovered Islands which was named Illustrated Book of the Year at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2016. He’s also a singer songwriter.

With fans in the likes of First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon and writers Robert MacFarlane, Sara Baume and Amy Liptrot, Malachy’s first novel, The Valley at the Centre of the World is set against the rugged west coast of Shetland – where Malachy grew up – in a community dealing with the loss of its oldest and youngest members. Malachy’s poetic writing pulls you into island life, bringing out questions of family and inheritance, community, rapid change and modernity in this far flung corner of the world.

Shetland: a place of sheep and soil, of harsh weather, close ties and an age-old way of life. A place where David has lived all his life, like his father and grandfather before him, but where he abides only in the present moment. A place where Sandy, a newcomer but already a crofter, may have finally found a home. A place that Alice has fled to after the death of her husband.

But times do change. Island inhabitants die, or move away, and David worries that no young families will take over the chain of stories and care that this valley has always needed, while others wonder if it was ever truly theirs to join. In the wind and sun and storms from the Atlantic, these islanders must decide: what is left of us when the day’s work is done, the children grown, and all our choices have been made?

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