'Murray is an evocative painter of landscapes and a deeply sympathetic writer.'
Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail

'He writes with an inherent understanding of Highland culture, language, and way of life.'
The Herald

'...one of the great lyrical writers of our time.'
Cathy Macdonald

For the Safety of All. Historic Environment Scotland and the Northern Lighthouse Board, July 2021

  • Donald S. Murray explores Scotland's lighthouses through history, storytelling and the voices of the lightkeepers. From ancient beacons to the work of the Stevensons and the Northern Lighthouse Board, and from wartime strife to automation and preservation, the lighthouses stand as a testament to the nation's innate connection to the sea.


In a Veil of Mist. Saraband, March 2021

  • A haunting exploration of the costs and fallout of warmongering, Donald S. Murray follows his prize-winning first novel with an equally moving exploration of another little-known incident in the Outer Hebridean island where he grew up.
  • The Times Historical Fiction Book of the Month


The Man Who Talks to Birds. Saraband, December 2020

  • In this short collection of poems written during lockdown at his Shetland home, Murray explores the changing realities of the island and how he, in turn, has been changed.




 As the Women Lay Dreaming. Saraband, November 2018

  • Inspired by the Iolaire disaster of 1919, this is a deeply moving novel about passion constrained, coping with loss and a changing world. As the Women Lay Dreaming explores how a single event can so dramatically impact communities, individuals and, indeed, our very souls. 
  • Paul Torday Memorial Prize 2020
  • HWA Debut Crown 2019, LONGLISTED
  • The Herald Scottish Culture Awards 2019, Outstanding Literature Award, SHORTLISTED
  • Authors' Club Best First Novel Award 2019, SHORTLISTED
  • Walter Scott Prize 2019, 'Academy Recommends List'
  • Highland Book Prize 2018, LONGLISTED
  • Waterstone’s Scottish Book of the Month November 2018


 The Dark Stuff: Stories from the Peatlands. Bloomsbury, April 2018

  • Donald S. Murray spent much of his childhood either playing or working on the moor, chasing sheep across empty acres and cutting and gathering peat for fuel. The Dark Stuff is an examination of how this landscape affected him and others.
  • Illustrations by Doug Robertson.


The Italian Chapel, Orkney. Birlinn, May 2017

  • This book tells the story of the strength and tenacity, laughter and tears of the Italian prisoners of war who built the Italian Chapel in Orkney during World War II, showing how spirits defeated and despondent during years of exile were lifted by its creation. It does this with its own artistry and grace, using folk-tale and myth to provide a fitting counterpart to the wonder and beauty of the building that inspired it.


Herring Tales: How the Silver Darlings Shaped Human Taste and History. Bloomsbury, August 2016

  • Following a journey from the western edge of Norway to the east of England, from Shetland and the Outer Hebrides to the fishing ports of the Baltic coast of Germany and the Netherlands, culminating in a visit to Iceland's Herring Era Museum, Donald S. Murray has stitched together tales of the fish that was of central importance to the lives of our ancestors, noting how both it - and those involved in their capture - were celebrated in the art, literature, craft, music and folklore of life in northern Europe.
  • Named one of the Guardian’s Best Nature Books of 2015  
  • Illustrations by Doug Robertson.


SY StorY: A Portrait of Stornoway Harbour. Birlinn, January 2015

  • SY StorY, in Donald S. Murray’s inimitable verse and prose, tells Stornoway’s story from the days when Mesolithic people sheltered there to its present-day life as a bustling, modern harbour, casting light on men and boats, native herring girls and island visitors, the town’s triumphs and tragedies.
  • Illustrations by Doug Robertson.


The Guga Stone: Lies, Legends and Lunacies from St Kilda. Luath Press, June 2014

  • Acrobats, airmen, cormorants, cragsmen and angels leap, climb, shimmer and swoop through the pages of The Guga Stone. With subtle humour, Donald S. Murray mixes mythology, fiction and history to recreate St Kilda’s tales and legends for our time.
  • Named one of the Guardian’s Best Nature Books of 2013
  • Illustrations by Doug Robertson.


Weaving Songs. Acair, November 2011

  • Drawing on the richness of his imagination and his experiences as a child in the Isle of Lewis, Donald S. Murray has fashioned his own original collection of Weaving Songs. They celebrate Harris Tweed – the cloth his weaver father played his small part in creating while working on the loom behind their croft-house. Full of craft, skill, rigour, colour and vitality, his verse and prose have much in common with the patterns of that unique fabric. 
  • Photographs by Carol Ann Peacock. 


Small Expectations. Two Ravens Press, February 2010

  • Small Expectations is a Hebridean parody of ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens, mingling humour, ghost stories, prose, and verse to convey the experiences of a Lewis version of Pip. 



The Guga Hunters. Birlinn, October 2008

  • Every year, ten men from Ness, at the northern tip of the Isle of Lewis, sail north-east for some forty miles to a remote rock called Sulasgeir. Their mission is to catch and harvest the guga, the almost fully grown gannet chicks nesting on the two hundred foot high cliffs that circle the tiny island, which is barely half a mile long. The Guga Hunters tells the story of the men who voyage to Sulasgeir each year and the district they hail from, bringing out the full colour of their lives, the humour and drama of their exploits. 


Speak To Us Catriona: New Tales and Traditions of The Lews. Islands Book Trust, 2007

  • In this collection of haunting and memorable poems, Donald S. Murray takes his inspiration from The Tales and Traditions of the Lews, the posthumously published work of the celebrated amateur folklorist and historian Dr Donald Macdonald of Gisla.
  • Shortlisted for the Callum MacDonald Memorial Award 


Special Deliverance: Short Stories from the Western Isles. Scottish Cultural Press, 1997

  • A collection of Donald's previously published and broadcast short stories.
  • Shortlisted for a Saltire Society First Book Award.