This story is no longer available.
Shena Mackay was born in Edinburgh in 1944. She has published nine novels and five collections of short stories and edited two anthologies. Winning a prize in the BBC Radio3/ Listener magazine short story competition in the early 1980s inspired her to write more stories and led to the publication of her first collection Babies in Rhinestones. One of those stories, The Most Beautiful Dress in the World was filmed for the BBC Bookmark programme. In 1986 her novel Redhill Rococo won the Fawcett Prize and she has received Scottish Arts Council Book Awards for the novel Dunedin and The Laughing Academy (stories), and a Society of Authors Travelling award. Her novel The Orchard on Fire was shortlisted for the 1996 Booker Prize and the McVitie’s prize, and Heligoland was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Her work has been widely broadcast and anthologised. She has been a judge for several literary prizes including the Booker and the Whitbread prizes. The Atmospheric Railway: New and Collected Stories was published in 2008.
Photograph by Ian Elliott