A new short novel from one of Scotland’s renowned writers.
In a fractured dystopic future, the child Rue finds solace in the garden of a mysterious community. Rue has lost identity, family, home and people to war. Too much has happened for Rue to trust others, but connection with the rest of the living world is not lost. Adulthood requires a courageous journey through a landscape of despair, yet ultimately Rue finds hope of regeneration from unexpected sources.
Margaret Elphinstone is a distinguished author with eight novels, poetry, and short stories to her credit. A graduate of Durham University and Emeritus Professor of Strathclyde University, her The Sea Road, published in 2000, received a Scottish Arts Council Award and earned a place in The List magazine’s 100 Best Scottish Books of All Time.
The writing is beautiful, especially the voice of Rue, the troubled, vulnerable, highly intelligent young person who tells the story. Margaret Elphinstone has created a world simultaneously strange and familiar. It is a novel unlike any I have read for some time.
James Robertson, poet and novelist
Here is a story of trauma, the kindness of strangers and the healing power of animals and plants … Lost People is a gem-like wisdom-tale of perfect clarity and depth.
Kathleen Jamie, Scotland’s Makar
Lost People is a precious gift. It opens up sanctuaries and pathways through scented herb gardens, through by-ways of restoration for all who find themselves lost … Once again Margaret Elphinstone has made worlds which never flinch from the consequences of war but help us find ways into the work of healing, peace and refuge.
Alison Phipps, UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and Arts at the University of Glasgow
A timeless, mesmerising jewel of a story, balm for the soul.
Mandy Haggith, novelist and poet
This is a story of lyrical urgency, beautifully told; gift, adventure and manifesto from a writer of wonders and lament.
Martyn Halsall, poet and journalist
The book is beautifully written, and the author’s humanity shines through it very clearly, as does her knowledge of gardens and plants. There’s a clarity of expression in the narrative which makes it easy to read, and yet there are layers of meaning within it. Very satisfying.
Colin Will, poet