George Mackay Brown Stories

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01The Wireless Set20130428

The first in a series of three short stories by one of Orkney's finest writers, George Mackay Brown. An internationally renowned poet and Booker-nominated novelist, Mackay Brown's work was infused by the islands history and culture; his friend Seamus Heaney said of him: "He transforms everything by passing it through the eye of the needle of Orkney."

In today's story, set in 1939, a couple are bemused by their son's gift of a wireless set, but when he leaves the small island community for service in the Navy, they and their neighbours keep a close ear upon the news it brings of the war's progress.

George Mackay Brown (1921 - 1996) was a prolific short story writer. "The Wireless Set" can be found in the collection "A Time to Keep", which is republished this month by Birlinn.

Read by Claire Knight.

Produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

The opening music is "Shapinsay Polka" by Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley, taken from their album Mither O' The Sea.

02The Five Of Spades20130505

Short story by one of Orkney's finest writers, George Mackay Brown. An internationally renowned poet and Booker-nominated novelist, Mackay Brown's work was infused by the islands history and culture; his friend Seamus Heaney said of him: "He transforms everything by passing it through the eye of the needle of Orkney."

Today's story is set in the 1800s and depicts the trials and tribulations of Check Harra, a young Orcadian whose love of gambling leads him into a series of extraordinary adventures.

George MacKay Brown (1921 - 1996) was a prolific short story writer. "The Five of Spades" can be found in the collection "A Time to Keep", which was republished by Birlinn at the end of last month.

Read by Andy Clark.

Abridged and produced by Kirsteen Cameron.

The theme music is "Way Oot West" by Jennifer and Hazel Wrigley, taken from the album Mither O' The Sea.

03 LASTThe Masked Fisherman20130512

A bold fishwife inspires a Viking Earl to write a poem of great humility. Short story set in twelfth century Shetland by George Mackay Brown.

One of the major figures of Scottish twentieth century literature, George Mackay Brown (1921 - 1996) was a prolific poet and novelist who took much of his inspiration from the culture, history and landscape of the Northern Isles. "The Masked Fisherman" appears in the story collection of the same title.

Read by Paul Young.

Abridged and produced by Kirsteen Cameron.