Linda Cracknell

Linda Cracknell has built up an impressive track record since winning the Macallan/Scotland on Sunday short story competition in 1998. Her first collection, Life Drawing (11:9, 2000), was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award. She was a recipient of the Scottish Arts Council’s prestigious Creative Scotland Awards in 2007 for her non-fiction project Path. Linda has also been commissioned by the BBC to abridge D H Lawrence’s The Rainbow in ten parts, and to write an afternoon play based on the life of Valda Grieve, broadcast in 2005. Her many residency posts include time spent in Maine, New York, at Brownsbank Cottage, last home of poet Hugh MacDiarmid and at Edinburgh’s Sick Kids Hospital.


Linda Cracknell is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact

Books by Linda

The Other Side of Stone

Taproot Press, March 2021 A haunting novella about a Perthshire woollen mill, told through the lives of those locked in and out of its walls, their moving stories interwoven against the backdrop of the impact of industrialisation on rural Scotland and the struggle for women’s rights. 1831: A travelling stonemason works on his final job, carving the dedication stone for a Mill destined to save its community. 1913: A rural suffragette, excluded from the local industry, rails against the building that threatens to consume both her husband and her freedom. 1990: As the Mill closes its doors for the final time, an embittered worker bears off a pattern book that contains the last knowledge and mystery of its weavers. Very simply extraordinary: beautiful and fun to read.–Sara Maitland

Doubling Back: Ten Paths Trodden in Memory

Freight Books, May 2014 Doubling Back is a fascinating and moving account of walking in the footsteps of others. In 1952 Linda Cracknell’s father embarked on a hike through the Swiss Alps. Fifty years later Linda retraces that fateful journey, following the trail of the man she barely knew. This collection of walking tales takes its theme from that pilgrimage. The walks trace the contours of history, following writers, relations and re-treading ways across mountains, valleys and coasts formerly trodden by drovers, saints and adventurers. Each walk is about the reaffirming of memories, beliefs and emotions, and especially of the connection that one can have with the past through particular places. This book celebrates life, family, friendship and walking through landscapes richly textured with stories. Doubling Back is a masterwork of travel writing in the vein of Robert Macfarlane and Roger Deakin, lyrical, poignant, and with stunning descriptions of the landscapes Linda Cracknell leads us through. Praise for Doubling Back Cracknell wonderfully explores the strange durability of the paths that we make in our lives, in our dreams and after our deaths. –Robert Macfarlane A winning combination of memoir, travelogue and literary meditation. –Daily Mail With Cracknell’s writing you don’t so much see the landscape as feel it. –Scotland on Sunday A Radio 4 Book of the Week Goodreads:

Call of the Undertow

Freight Books, October 2013 When Maggie Thame, a childless forty-something from Oxford, relocates to a remote village at Scotland’s most northern edge, it’s clear she’s running away. But to the villagers the question remains, from what? Pursuing her career as a freelance cartographer, she lives in self-imposed isolation, seeking refuge in the harsh beauty of her surroundings. This is disturbed when she falls into an uneasy friendship with Trothan Gilbertson, a strange, other-worldly local nine-year old. Like Maggie, it’s unclear where Trothan really comes from, and what secrets might be lurking in his past. The lives of both become intertwined, with violent consequences that will change the destinies of woman and boy forever, forcing Maggie to confront the tragic events that first drew her to this isolated place. In this, her debut novel, award-winning writer Linda Cracknell explores themes of motherhood, guilt, myth and the elemental forces of nature in a lyrical, taut and haunting account of damaged lives seeking redemption. Praise for Call of the Undertow A haunting tale that, like the landscape in which it’s set, is perched on the cusp of the super­natural without ever quite toppling in. –The Herald This is a stark, atmospheric novel, with a strong sense of place: the wheeling sea birds, the endless ocean, and the drama of the big sky are all powerfully evoked, as is the sense of a small community where everyone knows everyone else’s secrets. –The Independent Every so often… The universe gifts you a book the reading of which becomes more important than anything else you could be doing at that moment… A reality that snares you so completely that for a few hours, it’s the rest of the world that is shelved. Such a book is Call of the Undertow The Book Bag The past and memory form the fulcrum in what is the first full length novel by one of Scotland’s most exciting new talents. This atmospheric and finely crafted work certainly marks Cracknell as one to watch in 2014. –Waterstones Edinburgh An astonishingly beautiful novel with passages of exquisite nature writing, light-touch description and a well-paced narrative which moves around the human psyche like a restless wind. –Northwords Now One of the most enchanting and magical novels of the year. –Scots Whay Hae! Goodreads:

The Searching Glance

Salt, October 2009 The Searching Glance is the long-awaited second collection from one of Scotland’s leading short story writers. The worlds inhabited by the characters in these stories are diverse. Linda Cracknell’s stories are multi-layered and brooding with longing and loss, allowing the reader a ‘searching glance’ at characters’ lives. With touches of the surreal and hard strokes of reality, these stories will linger in the mind. Praise for The Searching Glance Recognisably one of Scotland’s foremost short-story writers. Her first collection does not disappoint. –Caledonia Magazine Linda Cracknell brings female experience hauntingly to life. –The Scotsman Linda Cracknell’s attention to detail is impressive: she writes as a painter in oils might paint, using a palette rich in both colour and texture, and the people she brings to life seem at once both part of and alienated from the landscapes in which they move. These are quiet yet passionate stories, subtle and striking in their effect. –James Robertson