An Island Girls Journey
by Dolina Maclennan
Dolina Maclennan is well known as an outstanding singer, actress, and storyteller of national and indeed international renown. She has received a lifetime award from the Saltire Society for her contribution to Scottish cultural life. In this sensitive and very personal account, Dolina looks back on some of the forces which moulded her, from her childhood in a traditional Gaelic-speaking community in rural Lewis to her friendship with many of the great figures of the Scottish literary and artistic scene over the past half century – including Hamish Henderson, Hugh Macdiarmid, and Sorley Maclean.
From her starring roles in the iconic 1970s theatre production ‘The Cheviot, the Stag, and the Black, Black Oil’ to the 1990s Gaelic TV soap opera ‘Machair’, Dolina has become an instantly recognised figure. She also has all the qualities of the traditional Gaelic story-teller, steeped in island heritage and culture. Her authentic voice rings out loud and clear in these memories – in a way which is simultaneously simple, powerful, and very moving.