Malachy Tallack

Illuminated By Water
  • Illuminated By Water

  • Malachy Tallack has been passionate about fishing since he was young. Growing up in Shetland, with its myriad lochs, he and his brother would roam the island in search of trout, and in so doing they discovered an abiding passion and a sense of freedom and wonder.
    Why is it that catching a fish - or simply contemplating catching a fish - can be so thrilling, so captivating? Why is it that time spent beside water can be imprinted so sharply in the memory? Why is it that what seems such a simple act - that of casting a line and hoping - can feel so rich in mystery? Illuminated by Water is Malachy's personal attempt to understand that freedom, and to trace the origins and sources of that sense of wonder.
    He shares the attraction of fishing, its intense joys and frustrations, the steadying effect it has both at water's edge and in the memory, and the contemplation of nature and landscape that comes with being an angler. He writes about fishing expeditions, from English canals to Scottish lochs, to lakes in Vancouver Island and New Zealand - as well as reflecting on such things as the intricacies of tying flies, the cultural significance of angling and the emerging moral complexities of the sport.
    Beautifully written and hugely engaging, it's a book that articulates the inexplicable lure of the river and the endless desire to return to it - illuminating a passion that has shaped the way so many of us see and think about the natural world.

Malachy Tallack is the award-winning author of three books. His first, Sixty Degree North (2015) was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and short-listed for the Saltire First Book Award. His second, The Un-Discovered Islands (2016), was Stanford Travel Writing Awards' Illustrated Book of the Year, while his debut novel, The Valley at the Centre of the World, was shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize and longlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize. He received a New Writers Award from the Scottish Book Trust in 2014, and the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship in 2015. He is a founding editor of online magazine The Island Review and, as a singer-songwriter, he has released four albums and an EP, and performed across the UK. Malachy Tallack grew up in Shetland and currently lives in central Scotland.

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