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Hellfire And Herring

Imprint: Profile Books
Subject: Biography & Memoir

Hellfire And Herring

A childhood remembered

Christopher Rush

A vivid and moving account of the author's childhood in the 1940s and 1950s in the little fishing village of St Monans...

eBook (ePUB/MOBI)?
9781847650900 (26 May 2011)

About the book

'The scent of God...the air was impregnated with him and his mint-sweet and moth-ball evangelists. Just as it was with herring, as you might expect in a fossilised fishing-village on Scotland's repressed east coast where fishing was an act of faith and not yet a computer-science industry designed to suck the last drops of life out of the sea.' A vivid and moving account of the author's upbringing in the 1940s and 1950s in the little fishing village of St Monans. Rush returns decades later to rediscover his childhood, and offers a frank account of how it was for him. This evocation of a way of life now vanished demonstrates the power of the word to bring the past timelessly to life. Rush writes of family, village characters, church and school; of folklore and fishing, the eternal power of the sea and the cycles of the seasons. With a poet's eye he navigates the worlds of the imagination and the unknown, the archetypal problems of fathers and sons and mother love, and the inescapability of childhood influences far on into adult life.

About the author

Christopher Rush was born in St Monans and for thirty years taught literature in Edinburgh. His books include A Twelvemonth and a Day (recently listed as one of the 100 greatest Scottish books ever) and the highly acclaimed To Travel Hopefully. He now lives near his childhood home.


A glowing and beautiful memoir...and astonishingly vivid world, richly recalled.

- Mail on Sunday

A supremely beautiful book that spins its particular story to tell a universal one.

- Sunday Times

A generous, mythic, deeply pagan book...with salt water in its veins.

- Guardian

The insight into suffering is both moving and illuminating...Quirky and colourful...moving and very human.

- Sunday Times

The tone is baroque, deeply allusive, emotionally raw, sensual and brutally, bravely honest.

- Sunday Herald

Additional Information

Imprint: Profile Books
Subject: Biography & Memoir