Margaret Elphinstone

Margaret Elphinstone has published eight novels as well as short stories. Her fiction, mostly historical, is characterised by people on journeys to places on the edge – islands, frontiers - where cultures and ideas meet and evolve.

"a canny graceful writer" "gilded with erudite detail" "hugely inventive"
"assured, attractive, innovative"

Forthcoming event - 19 May - Dumfries & Galloway Arts Festival:

Margaret will be taking part in the 21 Revolutions event at 7.30 pm in the Powfoot Golf Hotel, Annan. Along with Karen Campbell and Fiona Dean she will be talking about what inspired her as a writer. Email for tickets

Read about author's other events.


The most recent novel

The Gathering Night, set 8000 years ago among the hunter-gatherers of Mesolithic Scotland, is a story of conflict, loss, love, adventure and devastating natural disaster. Set deep in our stone-age past, this novel resonates as a parable for our troubled planet today. Read the reviews.
Find out about researching a Mesolithic novel


On show in Dumfries

The coracle Margaret built while researching The Gathering Night is the centrepiece of a display of her work currently on show in Dumfries. Dumfries & Galloway Family History Society regularly displays the work of well-known local people in its shopfront on Glasgow Street.

Recent writing

Margaret Elphinstone's essay, The Meniscus Moment, is published in Dark Mountain, Issue 4 edited by Dougald Hine, Nick Hunt, Paul Kingsnorth and Adrienne Odasso and published by the Dark Mountain Project 2013. ISBN 978-0-9564960-3-4.

Margaret Elphinstone is a contributor to Unstated, a collection of essays on Scottish Independence edited by Scott Hames and published in December 2012 by Word Power Books ISBN 9780956628398
Find out more about Margaret Elphinstone's other writing

Margaret Elphinstone's novels are all still available

The Gathering Night, Light, Voyageurs, Hy Brasil and The Sea Road are all published, in print and as E-books by Canongate Books. The Sea Road appears in '100 Best Scottish Books of All Time' produced by the List Magazine.

Gato is published by Sandstone Press for new and emergent adult readers. Margaret Elphinstone's three earliest novels, Islanders, A Sparrow's Flight and The Incomer or Clachanpluck, have all been republished by Kennedy & Boyd.

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