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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...

New Poems

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...

Scotland Dialling 999

October 28, 2009

IN THE AYRSHIRE of Andrew O’Hagan’s third novel there are no happy people, not one. This is a non-trivial detail: the absence of all happiness is peculiar. The locals staring into the shifting Irish Sea, with no Tolstoyan means of support, are meanwhile unhappy in a peculiar way. God or an author...

The SRB Interview: Richard Ford

October 21, 2009

Richard Ford was born in Jackson, Mississippi, on February 16, 1944. He was an only child, the son of a travelling salesman who died from a heart attack when Ford was sixteen. Despite suffering a mild form of dyslexia, he went on to study at Michigan State University, where he met Kristina Hensley,...

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...