Mull author hits the high notes with fes­ti­val award

The Oban Times - - News -

MULL author and mu­si­cian Colin MacIn­tyre has won the 2015 Ed­in­burgh In­ter­na­tional Book Fes­ti­val’s First Book Award for his de­but novel The Let­ters of Ivor Punch.

The First Book Award en­cour­ages the book fes­ti­val au­di­ence to dis­cover the wealth of de­but fic­tion fea­tured in the fes­ti­val pro­gramme each year and vote for their favourite.

The Let­ters of Ivor Punch has been de­scribed by fes­ti­val or­gan­is­ers as a ‘be­guil­ing tale of se­crets and sad­ness with a keen sense of place, on a re­mote He­bridean is­land’. It in­tro­duces a pi­o­neer­ing fe­male travel writer, two fa­ther­less boys and a man who, quite lit­er­ally, fell from the sky. At the cen­tre of it all sits the fig­ure who links the past to the present - the ir­re­press­ible, un­for­get­table Ivor Punch, who will not be tak­ing his se­crets to the grave.

Fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment last week, Colin MacIn­tyre said: ‘I am ab­so­lutely thrilled to be the re­cip­i­ent of the 2015 Ed­in­burgh In­ter­na­tional Book Fes­ti­val’s First Book Award. I had a won­der­ful time ap­pear­ing at the fes­ti­val this year and would like to thank ev­ery­one in­volved for this very ex­cit­ing hon­our – my pub­lish­ers W&N Books, my agent James Gill, and ex­tra spe­cial thanks to ev­ery­one who voted for my novel.’

MacIn­tyre is an award-win­ning mu­si­cian who has re­leased six al­bums to date, in­clud­ing two top-20 al­bums un­der the name Mull His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety. He has toured world­wide with acts in­clud­ing The Strokes, El­bow and REM.

Nick Bar­ley, di­rec­tor of the Ed­in­burgh In­ter­na­tional Book Fes­ti­val, said: ‘As a song­writer, Colin seems al­ways to have been a nat­u­ral sto­ry­teller. Per­haps it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore he turned his abil­i­ties to the longer form of the novel. It is fit­ting that the man best known as Mull His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety has crafted a story to which he has put his own name, yet it is a novel which owes so much to his roots on the is­land of Mull. Such pow­er­ful sto­ry­telling res­onated strongly with read­ers at the book fes­ti­val, mak­ing Colin a run­away win­ner in vot­ing for the First Book award.’

Pho­to­graph cour­tesy of Dan Massie

AWARD: Colin MacIn­tyre.

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