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'Remember the Rowan' pre-orders open!



‘Gavin has not married me in church with stained glass saints looking down in judgement and me wearing shop-bought jewellery that will soon become tarnished. He has not married me on paper, inking out scribbled signatures as if I am a woman to acquire on hire purchase and he a man too busy read the fine print. He has married me with all of this: a marriage of minds and souls, conceived in the beating heart of nature where we share one consciousness and one calling. One otter, most important of all. Instead of white lace, we have rowan blossom. Instead of pungent florist bouquets, we have a flourishing carpet of wildflowers...’


On what would have been Dr Kathleen Raine's 116th birthday, I could not be happier to announce that preorders are now open for my new novel Remember the Rowan! Inspired by the true story of Kathleen Raine and Gavin Maxwell's 'some-requited' love, Remember the Rowan illuminates their extraordinary relationship and shines a light on the woman behind Ring of Bright Water.


My book launch will take place at 2pm on Saturday 21st September in Glasgow's iconic Mitchell Library, so please pre-order now to receive a signed copy a week in advance, at the exclusive price of just £9.99. Happy reading, Rainedrops!



About the book:


‘If hate were love, if love were hate, it could not make our tale untold.’


Divorced and living apart from her two children as she strives against the odds to carve out a career in 1940s London, poet Kathleen Raine is initially unimpressed when she meets Gavin Maxwell, a would-be portrait painter struggling to recover from a recent breakdown. Nevertheless, the pair soon bond over childhood memories and a profound love of nature, epitomised by a mysterious vision they share of a rowan tree.


When Gavin confides that he is ‘more of a man’s man’, Kathleen remains determined that their connection can survive. They share a cottage in the wildest reaches of the West Highlands, where they care for Gavin’s beloved pet otter Mij and for each other. But when tragedy strikes, love soon turns to hate, and Kathleen finds herself being written out of her own life.


About the author


Kirsten MacQuarrie is a Scottish artist and writer, whose writing has been published by New Writing Scotland, the Scottish Poetry Library, Gutter Magazine, Scottish PEN, Glasgow Women’s Library, the Federation of Writers Scotland, Edinburgh Literary Salon, and others.


Kirsten has been shortlisted for a Vogue Magazine Young Talent Award, selected as an Editor’s Choice for the John Byrne Award, and twice winner of the Glasgow Women’s Library Poetry Prize. Her story ‘The Wordsworth Women’ won second prize in the Federation of Writers Scotland Vernal Equinox 2020. She has also served twice as a Non-Fiction judge for Scotland's National Book Awards.


Stone and Flower: On Kathleen Raine and Barbara Hepworth



'Stone into man must grow, the human word

Carved by our whispers in the passing air


Is the authentic utterance of cloud...'


Kathleen Raine, "Night in Martindale," Stone and Flower (1943)


As Remember the Rowan hit virtual shelves, I was honoured to also mark this year's Raine Day with an in-person event at The Nature Library on Irvine Harbourside. In conversation with Christina Riley, the Library's founder, I shared insights and ideas from my precious first edition of Stone and Flower, Kathleen Raine's earliest poetry collection, which also featured a range of elegant ecological illustrations by Barbara Hepworth. I can't think of a more perfect place to celebrate the legacy of Scotland's greatest, most underrated nature poet than this brand new library of land, sky and sea. Thank you for having me - recording coming soon!



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