Sally Magnusson

Raised in Glasgow, Sally Magnusson is a Scottish writer and broadcaster. She began her career at The Scotsman before moving to the BBC, notably as a long-serving presenter of BBC Scotland’s Reporting Scotland news programme. She has worked on a range of programmes, including BBC Breakfast Time, BBC 2’s The Daily Politics, Panorama and Songs of Praise. She is the founder and chair of Playlist for Life, a charity that encourages access to personalised music on iPods for people with dementia.

In 2009 Sally received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Glasgow Caledonian University. Her memoir of her mother’s dementia, Where Memories Go, won her the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award for Writing in 2014 as well as being shortlisted for the Saltire Literary Book of the Year award.

Sally’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/sallymag1

Sally Magnusson is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact jenny@jennybrownassociates.com

The Ninth Child
Two Roads, 19 March 2020
Sally Magnusson - The Ninth Child

Loch Katrine waterworks, 1856. A Highland wilderness fast becoming an industrial wasteland. No place for a lady.

Isabel Aird is aghast when her husband is appointed doctor to an extraordinary waterworks being built miles from the city. But Isabel, denied the motherhood role that is expected of her by a succession of miscarriages, finds unexpected consolation in a place where she can feel the presence of her unborn children and begin to work out what her life in Victorian society is for.

The hills echo with the gunpowder blasts of hundreds of navvies tunnelling day and night to bring clean water to diseased Glasgow thirty miles away – digging so deep that there are those who worry they are disturbing the land of faery itself. Here, just inside the Highland line, the membrane between the modern world and the ancient unseen places is very thin.

With new life quickening within her again, Isabel can only wait. But a darker presence has also emerged from the gunpowder smoke. And he is waiting too.

Inspired by the mysterious death of seventeenth-century Robert Kirke and set in a pivotal era two centuries later when engineering innovation flourished but women did not, The Ninth Child blends folklore with historical realism in a spellbinding narrative.

The Sealwoman’s Gift
Sally Magnusson - The Sealwoman's Gift

1627. In a notorious historical event, pirates raided the coast of Iceland and abducted 400 people into slavery in Algiers. Among them a pastor, his wife, and their children.

In her acclaimed debut novel, Sally Magnusson imagines what history does not record: the experience of Asta, the pastor’s wife, as she faces her losses with the one thing left to her – the stories from home – and forges an ambiguous bond with the man who bought her.

Uplifting, moving, and witty, The Sealwoman’s Gift speaks across centuries and oceans about loss, love, resilience and redemption.

Praise for The Sealwoman’s Gift
‘A remarkable feat of imagination… I enjoyed and admired it in equal measure’ – Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent
A Zoe Ball ITV Book Club Pick

‘Sally Magnusson has taken an amazing true event and created a brilliant first novel. It’s an epic journey in every sense: although it’s historical, it’s incredibly relevant ot our world today. We had to pick it’ Zoe Ball Book Club

‘A remarkable feat of imagination … I enjoyed and admired it in equal measure’ Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent
‘A powerful tale of Barbary pirates … richly imagined.’ Sunday Times
‘Engrossing’ Sunday Express ‘Fascinating … a really, really good read’ BBC R2 Book Club
‘The best sort of historical novel’ Scotsman ‘A lyrical tale’ Stylist
‘A poetic retelling of Icelandic history’ Daily Mail ‘Compelling stuff’ Good Housekeeping
‘An extraordinarily immersive read … examining themes of motherhood, identity, exile and freedom’ Guardian