Neil Miller Gunn (1891-1973) was a novelist, critic and dramatist, one of the most influential Scottish writers of the first half of the 20th century. He was born in the village of Dunbeath in the county of Caithness, the northernmost county of mainland Scotland. His father was the captain of a herring boat, and Gunn’s preoccupation with the sea and fishermen can be traced directly back to his childhood memories of his father’s work. He began his working life as a Customs and Excise Officer, and turned to full time writing after he was awarded the 1937 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Highland River. He continued to write prolifically both as novelist and essayist throughout his life.