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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 Betteridge, Rare Books Curator (Eighteenth-Century Printed Collections), considers how best to capture the essence of this remarkable era.

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...

Winner of tenth Walter Scott Prize announced

June 15, 2019

The tenth Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction has been awarded to Robin Robertson. Robertson...

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...

Like a Dragonfly

May 20, 2019

In Search of Seamus

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...

Welsh Rarebit

October 26, 2009

No, I hadn’t read Irvine Welsh either. His books seemed easy to resist. The hype. The style-accessory business. The yoof market (even if the author wasn’t young). I recall a press story about the Grampian police deploring the effects of Trainspotting, the film, its glorification of drugs. You...

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...