#WigtownWednesdays

Cal Flyn ~ 19 May 2021

Online Event
Wed 19 May
19:00 UK
Free, ticketed

Author and journalist Cal Flyn talks to us about her latest book, Islands of Abandonment, a non-fiction book about the ecology and psychology of abandoned places: ghost towns and exclusion zones, no man’s lands and fortress islands – and what happens when nature is allowed to reclaim its place.

In Chernobyl, following the nuclear disaster, only a handful of people returned to their dangerously irradiated homes. On an uninhabited Scottish island, feral cattle live entirely wild. In Detroit, once America’s fourth-largest city, entire streets of houses are falling in on themselves, looters slipping through otherwise silent neighbourhoods.

This book explores the extraordinary places where humans no longer live – or survive in tiny, precarious numbers – to give us a possible glimpse of what happens when mankind’s impact on nature is forced to stop. From Tanzanian mountains to the volcanic Caribbean, the forbidden areas of France to the mining regions of Scotland, Flyn brings together some of the most desolate, eerie, ravaged and polluted areas in the world – and shows how, against all odds, they offer our best opportunities for environmental recovery.

By turns haunted and hopeful, this luminously written world study is pinned together with profound insight and new ecological discoveries that together map an answer to the big questions: what happens after we’re gone, and how far can our damage to nature be undone?

About the author: Cal Flyn is an award-winning writer from the Highlands of Scotland. She writes literary nonfiction and long-form journalism. Her first book, Thicker Than Water, which explored questions of colonialism and intergenerational guilt, was a Times book of the year. Islands of Abandonment is her second book, out now in the UK, and from 1 June in the United States. Cal’s journalistic writing has been published in Granta, The Sunday Times Magazine, Telegraph Magazine, The Economist and others. She is a columnist for Prospect, deputy editor of literary recommendations site Five Books, and a regular contributor to The Guardian. Cal has been writer-in-residence at Gladstone’s Library and the Jan Michalski Foundation in Switzerland. She was made a MacDowell fellow in 2019.

How do the Writers Gathering events work?


Workshops

Once you have booked your workshop place using our online ticketing site, you will receive a confirmation email. 30 minutes before the start of the workshop, a reminder email will be sent out to you with the link to access the workshop on Zoom. Workshops will not be streamed live anywhere else. Each workshop is limited to a maximum of 20 participants, and will last for two hours, including a short break.

Panel discussion

The panel discussion will be streamed live on the Wigtown Book Festival website, YouTube channel and Facebook page, so you don’t need to register to access it. However, it’s still worth signing up as you will be sent a direct link to the event and a reminder 30 minutes beforehand.

Don’t forget to check your spam folder for the confirmation and reminder emails in case they end up in there.

WG21 Weekend Pass
Why not purchase our WG21 pass, which at £30 gives you a 100% discount on 1 ticket to each event. Please note that you will still need to book a place on the workshops you would like to attend. Click Here To Purchase WG21 Pass. Passes must be purchased separately before booking on to the individual workshops.

Access
We appreciate that not everyone can afford the £8 workshop fee or £30 for a weekend pass. Making the Writers’ Gathering as accessible as possible is a priority of ours and so we are offering a number of bursaries for each workshop. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please complete this online form or email Isla on isla@wigtownbookfestival.com. Live captioning will also be available on request.

Asking questions

During the workshops, you can ask a question verbally and by using the chat facility on Zoom. On live-streamed events, questions can be put into the live chat box on YouTube or in the comments box on Facebook and they will be forwarded to the speakers.

Catch up

The panel discussion will be available on catch-up. However, the workshops are not being recorded and will not be available anywhere else after they take place.

Buy the books

Browse our online bookshop, which will stock all our speakers’ latest titles.

Queries

If you have any queries about the Writers’ Gathering, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing isla@wigtownbookfestival.com.