This image is the cover for the book Twelvemonth and a Day, Canongate Classics

Twelvemonth and a Day, Canongate Classics

This novel of boyhood on the Scottish seaside is “powerful, vivid, evocative, funny, awesome, loving and so assured in its writing it catches the breath” (Glasgow Herald, UK).

One of The List Magazine’s 100 Best Scottish Books of All Time

In A Twelvemonth and a Day, Christopher Rush delivers a loving lament for the “slow old tuneful times” of St. Monans, the Scottish fishing village of his childhood. It is a semi-autobiographical tale about change and growth, the fluctuating patterns in the work-life of a fishing and farming community throughout the cycle of a year, and about the year itself, the life of nature.

Recounting the first twelve years of his young protagonist’s life, Rush tells of how that idyllic life can be destroyed by forces we cannot seem to control: ignorance and greed, profit and loss, the wider forces of politics that damage communities and individuals.

Widely acclaimed upon its release in 1985, A Twelvemonth and a Day was adapted for the screen as the 1989 film Venus Peter. This edition features an introduction by Alan Bold.

“With its Bible-sized characters, its feeling for workaday rhythms and the cycle of seasons, its tall and grisly tales of storms and wrecks, whales and sharks, witches and fetches, drowning and exhumations, it does convey a sense of that fatalistic awe which the sea inspired in those deeply devout fishing communities.”—Times Literary Supplement, UK

Christopher Rush, Alan Bold

Christopher Rush was born in 1944 in St Monans, a fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife. He was educated there and at Waid Academy in Anstruther, before going on to read English at the University of Aberdeen. There he excelled as a scholar and was an English Medal winner. He has since won five Scottish Arts Council Bursaries, two SAC Book Awards and was short-listed for the McVitie's Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year. Between 1969 and 1999 he taught English at George Watson's College, Edinburgh.A Twelvemonth and a Day was first published in 1985 and is a semi-autobiographical account of the first twelve years of a boy's life, about the golden days before experience imposes itself and limits exploration of the world. In 2005 it was chosen by The List magazine as one of the 100 Best Scottish Books of All Time. It has also been made into a highly successful film, Venus Peter (1988), for which Rush co-wrote the screenplay.Rush's many other publications include a poetry collection, A Resurrection of a Kind (1984), two short story collections, Peace Comes Dropping Slow (1983) and Into the Ebb (1989), two novels, Last Lesson of the Afternoon (1994), Will (2007), a children's book, Venus Peter Saves the Whale (1992), and two volumes of memoirs, To Travel Hopefully: Journal of a Death Not Foretold (2005) and Hellfire and Herring (2007). He is currently working on his third novel, Penelope's Web: Odysseus Unravelled.