Orwell book set for Turkish translation

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Hot on the heels of selling more than 1,000 copies of his Orwell book, Luing author Norman Bissell’s publishers have just wrapped up a deal to have it translated into Turkish.

Barnhill, the telling of George Orwell’s struggle to finish writing Nineteen Eighty-Four on the isle of Jura and now on to its second run, has caught the eye of the far-afield publisher.

The book, all 255 pages of it, will be now translated word for word, says Mr Bissell, who was awarded a Creative Scotland Artist’s Bursary to research and write it.

‘The Turkish publisher perhaps sees a market for the book about Orwell in Turkey because of the change that has been taking place there with President Erdogan becoming more powerful. That’s my theory anyway, although I’ve nothing to back that up!’

Mr Bissell said he is not aware of any particular Orwell fan base in Turkey but there could be.

‘I’m not sure of any timescale  for the translation, it’ll take some time I should think. It would have to be a full transcription because it’s one continual narrative, any cuts and it wouldn’t work.

It is not the first time that Mr Bissell’s work has been translated. He once wrote a short essay some years ago that was  a memoir about meeting Scottish poet Kenneth White who lived in France – it was translated into French.

Luing has just started a new chapter of its own, launching a book club at the Atlantic Islands Centre. The latest book of the month is His Bloody Project, a historical crime thriller by Graeme Macrae Burnet, who by coincidence will be introducing Mr Bissell at the Aye Write! festival in the Mitchell Library, Glasgow,on Thursday March 19 at 6pm.

On Saturday May 30, from 10am to 4pm, Mr Bissell will be at an event in Rothesay called Dystopias, George Orwell and Scottish Islands in Bank of Ideas. The venue is 17 High Street and he will be joined by Alan Riach, Christopher Priest, Nina Allen and Ken MacLeod.

And Tayvallich Village Hall will be hosting a George Orwell on Jura talk on Sunday  June 28 at 5pm.

More dates for the George Orwell on Jura event can be booked by visiting The Touring Network Tourbook at tourbook.live/tours/george-orwell-on-jura-8673.