Margaret Elphinstone

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Fifteen years have passed since I last wrote a novel. During that time I’ve been watching other lives in a small corner of rural Scotland. I’ve observed how other species, plant and animal, live through the seasons and the years. I’ve seen how the landscape changes, how new technologies arrive, and how native species of birds and butterflies decline faster than I could have imagined possible. I’ve thought about the history of this place, and watched what is happening so very quickly in the wider world around me.

I’ve considered my own ancestry too: how eclectic it is, how displaced, and how far removed from any indigenous sense of belonging. I have always lived in a world torn apart by war, but it never arrived where I happened to be. Now I see global violence accelerating. I’ve reflected on my good fortune in enjoying peace, food, shelter, family and a preponderance of other species who have shared the landscapes I have called ‘home’.

Lost People
I didn’t think I had another novel in me. But a chance suggestion from a friend about knot gardens suddenly triggered a whole imagined world. The narrator, Rue, has lost identity, family, home and people to war. Too much has happened for Rue to trust other people, but the connection with the rest of the living world is not lost. Regeneration is happening, but not by any agency of human power.

Lost People is set in a dystopic, post-war world. But there is still hope. Recovery and restoration are beyond human abilities, but when we have done our worst, this planet will still sustain a living world, and that may include the lost people. Lost People is due to be published by Wild Goose on 21st February 2024.

The last 15 years
I have continued to write during these fifteen years, in the form of essays, occasional short stories and poetry - mostly poetry - and that’s what I am mostly working on now. Some of this work is listed here.

Home. Papa Stour Archway

You can read descriptions and reviews of my novels on the appropriate page for each book. My biographical details and any events I may be undertaking can be found here.

Images of Papa Stour above, courtesy of Robert Crawford.

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