The Valley at the Centre of the World (2018)
Shortlisted for the Highland Book Prize
- "A desperately beautiful novel. Tallack writes with such tenderness for his characters and quiet awe for the patch of earth he places them upon. Now that I’ve turned the last page, I find myself experiencing a strange kind of loneliness.” Sara Baume, author of SPILL SIMMER FALTER WITHER and A LINE MADE BY WALKING.
- "In this intense debut novel Malachy Tallack takes us to an isolated world inhabited by a community of utterly believable folk. He is great on the nature of work, how it is done, how it exhausts, how it shows our humanity. And when he gets this right other things naturally follow - like love and empathy and understanding. This book leaves us wanting his next." Bernard MacLaverty, author of GRACE NOTES and MIDWINTER BREAK.
- "A vivid novel ... It wrestles with big questions about land, community and belonging and how place shapes character. It lingers in the mind long." Madeleine Bunting, author of LOVE OF COUNTRY.
- "The Valley at the Centre of the World is a remarkable first novel - an intimate, profoundly human look at the inner workings of a community, a meditation on freedom and belonging and the powerful magnetism of home." Jennifer Haigh, author of MRS KIMBLE and NEWS FROM HEAVEN.
- "A remarkable debut. I became so invested in these characters lives and their profound connections to their place in the world. Beautiful prose from a major new talent." Silas House, author of SOUTHERNMOST
- "Meditative, merciful, and quietly moving ... A debut of uncommon assurance." Paul Lynch, author of GRACE.
- "A life-affirming book ... The novel gives the impression of having been long pondered, and matured in memory and imagination ... A considerable achievement." Allan Massie, The Scotsman
- "A moving elegiac novel ... You are left with the taste of the land in your mouth." The Irish Times
- "Tallack brilliantly evokes both the environment and his cast of characters with understated charm and real insight ... Written with a deep understanding of the place and its people, this is subtle but deeply moving storytelling." Doug Johnstone, Big Issue
- "a thoughtful, engaging and valuable addition to the literature of islands." Ben Myers, New Statesman
- "A vivid closeup of island life." The Guardian
- "Lyrical ... wonderfully atmospheric and moving." Sunday Express
- "A soaring debut novel . . . Tallack proves as adept a novelist as he is a nature writer, combining his talents with a novel deeply rooted in place. He evokes the changeable valley in gorgeous prose . . . A vivid, moving read" The Skinny
- "[Tallack]writes with palpable tenderness ... he's a sharp-eyed and evocative painter of place" Daily Mail
- "Tender ... delicately-wrought" Kirkus Reviews
- "The beauty of Tallack’s prose is the highlight of this reading experience ... A true delight from one of Scotland’s most promising new voices." The Fountain