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The Eye of a Stranger: Henrietta Liston’s Turkish Journals

August 5, 2019

Henrietta Liston, wife of a British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in the early nineteenth century, recorded her travels in a private journal, now held in the National Library of Scotland. Together with academics from Bilkent University in Ankara, the Library is currently working to publish the journal...

Writing Scotland’s Future, 1 July 1999

June 30, 2019

Donald Dewar became Scotland’s First Minister in 1999, the year of the Official Opening of Scotland’s new Parliament and almost 300 years after the previous Parliament came to an end with the Treaty and Act of Union. His historic speech on that occasion included the words: ‘The past is part...

Voltaire versus Lord Kames and the need for a soundbite

June 19, 2019

The National Library of Scotland will shortly open a major new exhibition on the Scottish Enlightenment. Robert...

Scotland Street Press wins Pen Award

June 18, 2019

Edinburgh based publisher Scotland Street Press has won a major award to translate Alinarka’s...

Emerging Critics Round 2 Now Complete

June 17, 2019

The second round of the Emerging Critics mentoring programme is now complete. Working in partnership...

Current Edition

SRB at the Theatre: Strindberg in Perth

May 20, 2019

  The programme, obviously, attributes the work to August Strindberg but adds that it has been adapted by Zinnie Harris, a writer much admired for a series of mordant plays which deal unflinchingly with issues of our times. However, the words ‘adapted by’ now cause a flutter of apprehension...

Stone Voices

May 20, 2019

For the Good Times

May 20, 2019

Like a Dragonfly

May 20, 2019

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From The Vaults

A Bridge Too Far

May 30, 2015

In the last few years I have visited Queensferry several times to see how the new road bridge is coming along. On one occasion I ran into a grizzled, middle-aged American from Ohio. Over drinks in a nearby hotel he said he had been working on the bridge and was on his way home. What he told me took...

Becoming a Scot

August 3, 2014

I COME from a family of immigrants, though I never thought of us that way until I became an immigrant myself. My father’s ancestors migrated to the Philippines from Madrid, taking the name Muñoz with them. My mother’s grandfather was from Taiwan. As legend goes, the family name was Tan but after...

Crimes Against Fiction?

May 30, 2015

‘TARTAN noir’ has been used to describe crime fiction written by Scottish crime writers for so long now – well over a decade – we’ve grown numb to it. Strange that a genre, or subgenre more accurately, that prides itself on mapping the moral badlands of contemporary Scotland should accept...

The SRB Interview: Jackie Kay

March 21, 2016

Opening one of Jackie Kay’s books is like walking into a busy metropolitan bar that has accommodated within its walls the deep past, character and charm of a country pub. You know you will encounter stories comic and sad, that you will never leave thirsty, and that the mind will feel renewed with...

Growing Up with Glasgow

March 21, 2016

MY grandmother, Mary McGrath (née Dunn), lived much of her life on Saracen Street in Possilpark, Glasgow. She was married to John McGrath, a biscuit salesman, and they had a daughter and two sons. John’s parents were wed in the Catholic Chapel in Moy, County Tyrone and the marriage certificate describes...