Crichton’s Close

May 18, 2017

To Newcastle, where the city’s third annual poetry festival stretched its way from Tuesday to Saturday last week. Despite an especially unpleasant cold’s best efforts to deprive me off the pleasure of attending the festival, the week was memorable and rich with suggestions for further reading –...

Alexander McCall Smith scoops major Award

May 9, 2017

Alexander McCall Smith wins major award in New York - 9 May 2017 - and follows in the footsteps of giants.

14th Borders Book Festival programme launched

May 3, 2017

Alistair Moffat and Paula Ogilvie launched the 14th Borders Book Festival programme today and announced...


May 2, 2017

With biblical authority, the 50th anniversary edition of J.A. Baker’s The Peregrine commands...

Challenging Biases as Readers – Episode #5

April 12, 2017

Kristian Kerr talks with Emerging Critics mentor Dave Coates about expanding review coverage...

Current Edition


March 3, 2017

It is one of the mysteries of human endeavour that a Golden Age is only recognised when it has passed. Like happiness, it appears in the rearview mirror. When it is in full swing, insiders are oblivious, but with hindsight, what seemed like the usual grind and turmoil can be seen as a halcyon period...

Labour Pains

March 3, 2017

The Ghost Writer

March 3, 2017


March 3, 2017

Man on the Margin

March 3, 2017

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From The Vaults

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...

Then and Now: A View From the Fourth Estate

September 15, 2014

THE old Scotsman headquarters, which occupied the entire west side of Edinburgh’s North Bridge, managed simultaneously to exude squalor and splendour. At the time I first became acquainted with it, in the late 1980s, it was home to three newspapers, the Scotsman, the Edinburgh Evening News and Scotland...

An Orcadian’s Conversion

August 12, 2011

Why did George Mackay Brown become a Catholic? Religious conversion has always been a thorny theological issue. Christians have reached many different conclusions about how it should be secured: is coercion legitimate or is freely-given faith the only kind that counts? And then there’s sincerity:...

The James Trilogy

September 15, 2014

THE cry ‘Whaur’s yer Wullie Shakespeare noo?’ first uttered at the 1756 premiere of John Home’s play, Douglas, has echoed down the years in the legends associated with Scottish theatre. It is not sober to reissue it now, not even after watching Rona Munro’s magnificent trilogy, and not only...