Her story is the subject of Nick Abadzis’ beautiful, elegiac graphic novel published by First Second Books in 2007. “The genesis of the book was when I read about Laika when I was a child,” Abadzis said. “The idea that a dog was Earth’s first space traveller was cool, but I couldn’t get over the thought that she’d been sent on a one-way trip. It really terrified me and stayed with me.”
Saturday 5th November, 10 – 11am
Martin’s Memorial Church Hall , £3 or family ticket £10
In her most recent picture book, well known Scottish author and illustrator Debi Gliori describes all kinds of things you might see over the course of a single day in the Hebrides. Children and their families can join Debi to hear her read this beautiful story and tell how she found inspiration in the landscape, seascape, weather, animals and birds. You will then be able to make your own Hebridean drawings.
12.30pm Saturday 5th November
Venue: Martin’s Memorial
An event for young adults from the amazing writer and illustrator of Laika, the graphic novel about the little stray dog that became the first earthling to go to outer space. Nick has also written and illustrated many comics, including the latest Doctor Who.
10pm – 1am, Saturday 5-6 November
Faclan’s closing event with Akutagawa, named after the Japanese writer (1892–1927), regarded as the father of the Japanese short story, features the cream of Hebridean literary and musical talent. Kevin is joined by close friends Willie and Colin Macleod. They released an EP in 2016. Joining them will be performance poet Kirsty Nicolson.
There will also be a DJ set.
A special event in the company of Scotland’s latest makar (poet laureate). For the first half, Jackie Kay will be reading mostly from her poetry collections, THE EMPATHETIC STORE and FIERE after which there will be a conversation and discussion hosted by Ian Stephen.
(As part of Faclan Jackie is also appearing at Taigh Chearsabhagh in North Uist on Thursday 3rd November).
5pm, Saturday 5 November
An exploration of the impact of death in real time, this is a response to the diagnosis, illness and death of Coutts’ husband, the art critic, Tom Lubbock who died of a brain tumour in January 2011. It gives an account of how a small family unit tried to stay together, charts the deterioration of Tom’s speech as it records the developing language of his child and navigates the journey from home to hospital to hospice. It was the winner of the Wellcome Book Prize 2015.
Marion Coutts is a visual artist and a lecturerer at Goldsmith’s College of Art in London. This is her first book.
3.30pm Saturday 5 November
Laika was the abandoned puppy who on 3rd November 1957 (59 years ago almost to the day) became the first living creature to go to space. She would never return.
This brilliant international-award winning graphic novel casts light on the hidden moments of deep humanity behind a pivotal moment in history.
Nanook of the North, Silent film, 1922, Robert J. Flaherty (79m) with Live Piano Accompaniment by Peter Urpeth
1.30pm, Saturday 5 November
The first official documentary ever made, this silent film captures the struggles of the Inuk named Nanook and his family in the Canadian Arctic. While some sequences were staged, the film is authentic in its respect for the courage and ingenuity of its heroes. In 1989, it was one of the first 25 films to be selected for preservation in the US National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
The piano score is Peter Urpeth’s 4th commission for An Lanntair for silent films, following Nosferatu (2011), Vampyr (2012) and The Passion of Joan of Arc (2014). For this special performance he will be joined by guitarist Mark Hewins.
11am, Saturday 5 November
After more than a decade in London, aged thirty, unable to control her drinking, Amy Liptrot returns to the Orkney sheep farm where she grew up. There she begins her recovery from addiction. The Outrun is a beautiful, inspiring book about living on the edge, about the pull between island and city, and the ability of the sea, the land, the wind and the moon to restore life and renew hope.
Amy Liptrot has written for various magazines, journals, blogs and a regular column for Caught by the River. As well as writing for Orkney Today, and editing the Edinburgh Student newspaper, she has worked as an artist’s model, a trampolinist and in a shellfish factory. This is her first book.
**Breakfast included with this event**
9.30am, Saturday 5 November
A journey delving deep into Hebridean history and culture that tells of how these Islands on the fringes of Britain helped shape our nation, and how the nation imposed its will on the Islands. It’s a riveting story of artists, writers, dreamers, explorers, philanthropists and developers. And also of community, resistance and rich Gaelic traditions, inextricably linked to an understanding of the landscape.
Madeleine Bunting is a former Guardian journalist. She read History at Cambridge and politics at Harvard. This is her fourth book, The Plot: A Biography of an English Acre won the Portico Prize. She lives in London.
**Breakfast included as part of this event**