Volume 8 – Issue 4 – Editorial

November 16, 2012

THE PUBLISHING SENSATION of the past few months was apparently J.K. Rowling’s first novel aimed specifically at adults. Having read The Casual Vacancy from cover to cover we are fairly confident in saying – in the words of Norman MacCaig – that ‘it was okay, as far as it went’. Had it been...

Volume 9 – Issue 1 – Editorial

November 16, 2012

Alasdair Gray, who is interviewed in this issue of the Scottish Review of Books, recently caused a stushie with an essay titled ‘Settlers and Colonists’. For many commentators that was provocation enough and Gray, hitherto regarded as a national treasure, was roundly denounced as, at best, anti-English,...

Volume 9 – Issue 2 – Editorial

November 16, 2012

THE first mention of Scotland in Margaret Thatcher’s account of her tenure at 10 Downing Street comes on page 602 in her autobiography, which rather confirms the view of many that she had no feeling for a large swathe of the country of which she was soi disant leader. When next she addresses Scotland...

Volume 8 – Issue 3 – Editorial

June 8, 2012

The edinburgh writers’ Conference, held fifty years ago this month, has become the stuff of legend and not a few myths.  It was ‘curated’, as we say in this age of weasel words, by John Calder, a scion of the brewing Calders of Perthshire, who as a publisher was responsible for introducing...

Volume 8 – Issue 2 – Editorial

June 8, 2012

Is there any meaning in anything?’ Such was the understandable reaction of Rhea Mitchell, the wife of James Leslie Mitchell, who is better known by his pseudonym, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, to her husband’s sudden death in February 1935. Gibbon was just 33 years old when he died of peritonitis. Writing...

Volume 8 – Issue 1 – Editorial

March 2, 2012

As this issue of the SRB was wending its way towards publication the death was announced of Marie Colvin, the war reporter. Colvin was in Syria on assignment for the Sunday Times in the embattled, besieged city of Homs. Together with the French photographer Remi Ochlik, who was also killed, Colvin had...

Volume 7 – Issue 4 – Editorial

November 12, 2011

The broad theme of this edition of the Scottish Review of Books is neglected writers and books. It is, of course, a common complaint of authors that their work is not given its due recognition and reward. For every bestseller and prize winner there are countless examples of next-to-no-sellers and also-rans....

Volume 7 – Issue 3 – Editorial

August 11, 2011

Anyone who knows anything about the birth of public libraries is aware how difficult it was. As with so much of what we now take for granted, libraries are a gift from the Victorians, born of the recognition that self-improvement was the route to prosperity. The early public libraries were not places...

Volume 7 – Issue 1 – Editorial

February 18, 2011

“you’re only new once,” Rodge Glass said when interviewed for this issue’s essay on Scotland’s young writers. In an age-obsessed era, literature remains one of the few fields a practitioner can still be described as young even as they enter their forties. There is a reason for that. It’s...

Volume 6 – Issue 4 – Editorial

November 11, 2010

When the end-of-year ‘Best books of 2010’ polls are over, there are bound to be votes for David Shields’s Reality Hunger.In it, Shields outlines his discontent with the novel, going as far as to suggest it’s effectively finished. Or at least finished in the form most of us are familiar with,...

Blog / Discussion

In Search of Seamus

by Alan Taylor


by Ian Stephen

For the Good Times

by Alasdair McKillop


by Peter Ross