Book of the Month: Amphibian by Christina Neuwirth

November 17, 2018
by Kristian Kerr

  On a summer’s day Rose Ellis arrives at the job she doesn’t-much-love but doesn’t-hate-enough-to-leave to find that her entire floor will be subjected to an ‘AquaProductivity’ experiment. Stagnating sales at Edinburgh’s MoneyTownCashGrowth are, quite literally, putting her team under...

THE SRB INTERVIEW: Carol Ann Duffy

November 10, 2018
by Nick Major

In 2009, Carol Ann Duffy was appointed the UK’s Poet Laureate. She was the first woman to be awarded the honour in its 400-year history. Her new book, Sincerity, is her last collection of poems before she steps down from the laureateship in May 2019. It was written over a period of two years and contains...

MONEY WORRIES

November 10, 2018
by Jamie Maxwell

In the years leading up to the 2008 financial crash, an influential sub-section of the American political class became convinced that a major economic crisis was on its way. Serious Washington players like Robert Rubin, who served as head of Bill Clinton’s National Economic Council from 1993 to 1995,...

A DEARTH OF JOIE DE VIVRE

November 10, 2018
by Nick Major

Every year the Scottish Association of Literary Studies publishes an anthology of new writing: a gamut of stories, essays, poems and novel extracts. Readers aren’t given a context for any of the pieces, which is good. It means we have fewer expectations and the writing has to work on its own merits. In...

EDITORIAL

November 10, 2018
by Alan Taylor

According  to Chambers Dictionary – perhaps the only book on our shelves that earns its daily keep – the word ‘maverick means ‘a person who does not conform, a determined individualist’. True mavericks are few. One such was John Calder who died in August in the midst of the Edinburgh Festival...

ON THE TRAIL OF TROCCHI

November 10, 2018
by James Campbell

In June of 1972, I hitchhiked from Glasgow to Istanbul, via Bulgaria, then down to the Aegean island of Spetses, where I spent the summer leading tourists from coast to coast on horseback. The autumn changeover swept me to Israel, Kibbutz Mishmarot, midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa. I arrived back...

ANYONE FOR TENNIS?

November 10, 2018
by Susan Mansfield

In August, Edinburgh’s City Art Centre opened its doors for a surprising exhibition: a major retrospective by an artist no one had heard of. Edwin G. Lucas lived and worked in Edinburgh all his life, and produced an extraordinary body of modern painting but, when he died in 1990, was entirely unknown...

GET OUT OF HERE!

November 10, 2018
by Alan Taylor

History, Gore Vidal believed, was too important to be left to historians. He was particularly exercised by American academic historians whom he invariably prefaced with the word ‘fucking’. In Vidal’s opinion they had ruined history and turned readers off it by making it indigestible. Like Sir...

NIGHTMARE ON PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE

November 10, 2018
by Todd McEwen

As a child I thought little about history and politics; astronauts took up all my time. But after the wave of assassinations in the 1960s, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, Watergate, and Iran/Contra, I decided that all the patriotic, narcissistic, self-ennobling rhetoric...

INSPIRED BY MURIEL

November 10, 2018

WAITING FOR THE POMEGRANATE BOAT Judy Brown I strung my noticing eyes on a rosary, and clicked and confided. On the island I stuck to the facts; they were slippery and touchable as blood. The crater’s lava groaned and sighed folding itself over itself, like laborious student soup. The goat died, the...