Roger Hutchinson is a full-time writer living on the island of Raasay. Born in 1949 he launched and edited the radical magazine Styng in the north of England, before moving to London and becoming editor of both Oz and IT in the early seventies. In 1975 he became a freelance journalist and went on to author several books on subjects as diverse as the professional tennis circuit, the Royal Family, Bruce Lee and man-eating sharks. Two years later he moved to Skye and joined the West Highland Free Press. He is currently a feature journalist, columnist and reviewer for the WHFP, Scotsman, Herald, Guardian and the Press & Journal. He has won several awards, including North of Scotland Feature Writer of the Year and UK Weekly Sports Writer of the Year. His last book The Soap Man: Lewis, Harris and Lord Leverhulme was short-listed for The Saltire Book the Year Award 2004.
‘A sparkling crystal glass of a little book. Here is a fact-filled fairy tale. It is hilarious, heroic and heart-warming’ – The Herald on Polly: The Story Behind Whisky Galore
‘A distilled drop of long-matured Hebridean history. A delightful dram of a book’ – Daily Mail on Polly: The Story Behind Whisky Galore
‘A wonderful book about what happens when righteous ambition meets stubborn culture . . . a morality tale of enduring relevance’ – Scotland on Sunday on The Soap Man: Lewis, Harris and Lord Leverhulme
Books by Roger Hutchinson
Early on a Sunday morning in October 1905, in Eriskay, one of the smallest and most isolated of Hebridean islands, a forty-five year old Catholic parish priest died of pleurisy. It was a disease which had claimed many of his parishioners, and Father Allan McDonald undoubtedly contracted it while ministering to his flock. He was mourned all over Scotland. Now, over a century later, his name is still remembered with reverence throughout Catholic Scotland and beyond. Father Allan – Maighstir Ailein to his Gaelic-speaking people – was a witty, accomplished, intellectual and dedicated man; one of the most renowned of Hebridean personalities and probably the most celebrated Hebridean priest since St Columba. An exceptionally effective and articulate local politician in the southern Outer Hebrides, which at the turn of the twentieth century was amongst the poorest and most neglected in Europe, he was also an accomplished Gaelic poet and writer and one of Scotland’s greatest collectors of folklore. His achievements attracted attention and visitors came to his lonely parish from the United States, England and elsewhere. The compelling tale of his remarkable life is also implicitly the story of the north-west Highlands in the late nineteenth century and the Catholic Hebrides in their transcendent prime, where culture overflows with myth and adventure, colour, character and extraordinary unspoilt beauty.
World Rights: Birlinn
A true story of one man’s epic efforts to keep his community alive. This is a parable: a story of stubbornly heroic resistance and of extraordinary personal achievement. It is the story of a statement made from the depths of one man’s heart in the most practical and indisputable of ways, against the unnecessary destruction of his homeland. It is also the story of the creation of a work of art.
At the age of fifty-six Calum MacLeod, now the last man left in northern Raasay (an island of the west coast of Scotland), set about single-handedly constructing the “impossible” road; a crucial connecting road the council had refused to build. It would become a stubborn, sternly romantic, quixotic venture.
Short-listed for the Ondaatje Prize
‘A gem of a book, beautifully written, informative, moving’ – Alexander McCall Smith
‘Destined to become a minor classic’ – Magnus Linklater
‘A terrific story of courage and endurance’ – Andrew O’Hagan
World Rights: Birlinn
Rights Sold: Germany (DTV), TV/Film Rights (Handmade Films)
Walking to America
The story of an extraordinary odyssey-cum-pilgrimage undertaken 120 years ago by one small family: the author’s own.
The journey was taken largely on foot by a small working-class family unit from England in the 1880s, to Liverpool, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and back again … in search of a new life and of a miracle doctor who could cure the blindness of one of their number.
World Rights: Birlinn
Publication Date: Autumn 2008
Roger Hutchinson is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Stan – email@example.com