Orkney | Granta

Orkney

Amy Sackville

On a remote island in Orkney, a curiously matched couple arrive on their honeymoon. He is an eminent literature professor; she was his pale, enigmatic star pupil. Alone beneath the shifting skies of this untethered landscape, the professor realises how little he knows about his new bride and yet, as the days go by and his mind turns obsessively upon the creature who has so beguiled him, she seems to slip ever further from his yearning grasp. Where does she come from? Why did she ask him to bring her north? What is it that constantly draws her to the sea?

  • Published: 06/02/2014
  • Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781847086655
  • 129x20mm, 224 pages

A masterpiece. It is seductive, beguiling, lureful - like a mermaid calling us into darker, deeper waters

Scarlett Thomas

Lyrical and compelling... entirely original... In Orkney myth slips free from the dust and politesse of the library, and assumes a vivid, dangerous and unparaphraseable existence... Readers will be gripped from start to finish... A beautiful and poignant novel

John Burnside, Times Literary Supplement

What begins as a familiar, almost fairytale-like narrative ends as something more fragmented, unsettling, and odd... Providing a brooding, bruised, ever-changing backdrop to all this is Orkney, the book's most compelling character of all... Breathtaking

Chitra Ramaswamy, Scotsman

The Author

Amy Sackville was born in 1981. She studied English and Theatre Studies at Leeds, and went on to an MPhil in English at Exeter College, Oxford, and last year completed the MA in Creative & Life Writing at Goldsmiths. She is the author of The Still Point (which won the John Llewellyn Rhys award and was longlisted for the Orange Prize) and Orkney which won a Somerset Maugham Award. www.amysackville.com

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This is an excerpt from Painter to the King, Amy Sackville's account of the life of Diego Velázquez. Now available from Granta Books.