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Reviews

This page gathers together book reviews and quotes about my writing. There are also comments and testimonials from students here.

Reviews

'I don't think it's too fanciful to wonder if some of the answers to the environmental challenges we face in this scary new century might come, not from the ivory towers of urban universities, but from backwoods philosophers such as Haggith, more intimately in tune with the Earth and its mysterious rhythms than a city-based academic could ever be.'  From a review in the Scotsman by Roger Cox, of Mandy's essay 'Wildlife on Braighlinne' in A Wilder Vein, edited by Linda Cracknell (Two Ravens Press, 2009).

The Last Bear

The Last Bear won the Robin Jenkins Literary Award in 2009.

It was Historical Novels Review Editor's Choice, in May 2008. 'Beautifully written, this is a wonderful mix of legend and historical romance: a moving and exciting first novel from a fine writer.'

Northwords Now said: 'The author is primarily a poet, particularly experienced in descriptions of landscapes and their inhabitants. She uses that experience well in this story. She is good at describing conditions of the elements that her characters have to endure and to struggle with. Her knowledge of the properties of plants, types of trees and the uses their wood can be put to, and of the foods that can be gleaned, hunter-gatherwise, from the land is considerable.'

Paper Trails

'An important tool in the long fight to reduce impacts of paper production and make sure that we can enjoy the advantages of paper without destroying our forests.' Read the full Eco-libris review here.

'This book is beautifully written, mixing lyrical descriptions of forests all over the world with details of how those same forests are being destroyed for the paper business... It certainly made me think about my own paper usage, and how to reduce it in the future.' Woodsman on Amazon.

Not so much a review of the book as of the whole project (which included a global journey and co-ordination of an international paper saving campaign), the Independent really got into it here.

The Daily Telegraph made Mandy their 'eco-hero', describing the book (here) as, 'one woman's mission to uncover the evils of the global paper industry'.

The Times liked it, here. 'What is revealed is the extent to which the global industry has done a slick coverup job.' And saw that it's not all doom and gloom: 'It offers a way out, leaving you with a satisfying sense of empowerment, that you can crack your paper addiction - even if it is only one sheet at a time.'

The Observer found it 'compelling and terrifying', here, (though they rather missed the point, as they spent much of the article boasting about the magazine being on PEFC-certified virgin fibre. How much of the book did they actually read?)

The reviewer at Resurgence didn't enjoy it so much, but even she said, 'I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Canada and was moved almost to tears by the destruction of the old-growth forests there in our mission to consume.'

Castings

 'The poetry here shows real clarity of eye marking the dialogues of nature in a place, be that place the lonely Scottish crofting area that is home, or the course of the River Kelvin through the Lowlands, or a Russian forest.' Tom Leonard

'Outstanding originality and quality. Impressive for its sharpness, sympathy and decisiveness...' Alan Riach, Professor of Scottish Literature, University of Glasgow.

The poem, 'Geese', from this collection was chosen by the Scottish Arts Council as poem of the month in April 2007.

'Yichang' was selected as one of the Best Scottish Poems, 2007. Alan Spence, the selector, said. 'This has all the delicacy of a Chinese scroll-painting - you can imagine it rendered as calligraphy trailing down the silk alongside a watercolour brush-drawing of trees, the river with the boat moored, its occupants reeled in by the flute player. It’s a moment of perfect stillness, attentiveness, rain falling on the leaves, on the pool, and we as readers are also reeled in to stand there, listening.'

'There is so much to admire and enjoy in this collection: finely disciplined movement of cadence, formal and technical virtuosity, elegant economy of expression... the poetic language has a vivid and rich physicality... Vivid, witty and unusual, these poems juxtapose their carefully chosen words against the white expanses and spaces of the page.' Andrew Radford

letting light in

'If you know someone with a heavy cold, or someone who is just fed up with grey skies and low light levels, buy them this pamphlet and remind them Spring is coming.' said Happenstance.  'It is something precious, something to be treasured.'