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...

Money For Nothing

March 3, 2017

Her Bloody Project

March 3, 2017

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From The Vaults

Oor Willie

March 21, 2016

WILLIAM McIlvanney chose ‘Growing Up in the West’ as the title of his contribution to Karl Miller’s 1970 collection of essays, Memoirs of a Modern Scotland. ‘It is perhaps not too fanciful to suppose,’ he writes, ‘that special contour lines of experience invisibly demarcate certain regions...

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:...

Alain-Fournier’s Solidarity Masterpiece

March 28, 2013

Youth is another country. They do things differently there, according to different rules, and in a language which is quite lost to us in later life. It is easy enough to capture early childhood in fiction. There are conventions about what the child knows and doesn’t know and because there is an adult...

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...