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Debut Novel Launch - Blessed Assurance by Stewart Ennis

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Blackwell's Bookshop

99 High Street

Aberdeen

AB24 3EN

United Kingdom

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Blackwell's is delighted to present Stewart Ennis to launch his debut Novel "Blessed Assurance"

About this Event

“The fact of the matter is Joseph Kirkland was afraid. Afraid of not being Saved. Afraid of being Saved. Afraid of the transformation that would occur the moment he uttered those words …”

Door open 5 PM

Event start time 5.30 PM

About the Book

Blessed Assurance is a coming of age novel set against the backdrop of a small close-knit evangelical community in the fictional Scottish village of Kilhaugh one fog bound December in the late nineteen sixties, when the cold war was on the brink of turning hot. The story takes place over six soul searching days in the life of God-fearing dog-thief and pyromaniac, 11year-old Joseph Kirkland, and his godless, devil-may-care best friend, Archie Truman, as the perpetually guilt-ridden Joseph attempts to put right what he believes to be the most terrible of lies. It is peopled with colourful characters, peppered with moments of tenderness, tragedy and occasional surreal humour. At its heart though, Blessed Assurance is an exploration of family, friendship, faith and grief, and the compromises that sometimes have to be made to remain part of our community.

About the Author

Stewart Ennis was born in Bridge of Weir, in the west of Scotland in 1961. He began his career as a journalist, a nurse and a printer, but now works as a writer, actor and occasional photographer. He was a founding member of the acclaimed Benchtours theatre ensemble with whom he created many touring shows throughout the nineties and noughties. For several years he was creative writing lecturer at HMP Shotts and other Scottish prisons and is currently working with Vagabond Voices on an anthology of prison writing. His short stories & poems have been published in, Gutter Magazine, The Curlew (Wales) The Caterpillar (Ireland), the 2020 National Poetry Day Anthology and various other anthologies. He was an early recipient of a Playwright Studio Scotland Ignite award and has written a number of works for theatre including, The Darkroom, Robert Burns’ Celtic Complex, One Straight Line, The Taking of Zena Charbonne and The Monster & Mary Shelley. In 2019 he was awarded the Aberdeen-Curtin Alliance scholarship to study a PhD within the creative departments of Aberdeen University & Curtin University, Perth, Australia. Blessed Assurance (Vagabond Voices 2019) is his first novel.

What others have said

“Stewart Ennis’s debut novel hovers constantly between comedy and tragedy. Small town Scotland is seen in perceptive detail through the eyes of an eleven year old boy. Characters, like his fundamentalist Gran, like the unforgettable itinerant preacher, Benjamin Mutch, leap into our heads and take us over. Steeped in matters of faith and rejection, the book offers a rare and fascinating glimpse into a past world which makes you turn the pages in a quest for answers.

Bernard MacLaverty

Award winning author: Midwinter Break, Cal, Lamb, Grace Notes etc Saltire Award Winner, Irish Book of the Year

“Stewart Ennis has drawn on his own faith fixated upbringing to recreate a sixties childhood like no other. We meet characters Mark Twain or Flannery O’Connor would have been proud to have begotten. Blessed Assurance’s antecedents include The House with the Green Shutters, Gillespie and Docherty. More recent sources for comparison would be the work of Jeanette Winterson, James Robertson and the poet Iain Bamforth.

The earnest, scab scouring schoolboy dreamer and precocious would be missionary, Joseph Kirkland takes his well-earned place amongst the many youthful savants and seers populating the coming of age stories that predominate in Caledonian letters. Ennis’s episodic structure -tableaux vibrantly vivants -have the stand alone presence to compel even as excerpts. But cumulatively these vignettes take on a mass and momentum that propel this deep and deft, richly rewarding debut novel towards precincts of the psyche as yet unprowled in contemporary Scottish fiction.”

Donny O’ Rourke

Writer, editor of landmark anthology Dreamstate: the new Scottish Poets & former head of Arts and Documentaries at Scottish Television

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Blackwell's Bookshop

99 High Street

Aberdeen

AB24 3EN

United Kingdom

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