September 14, 2009
by Brian Morton

Tete-a-Tete – Brian Morton FOUR RIVERS ran out of Eden. Three flow through Langholm, and young Christopher Grieve could tell each of them by its sound alone. It was a first lesson in native harmonics and a vernacular cadence that sought nothing less, when he became Hugh MacDiarmid, than to put...

Volume 5 – Issue 1 – Reviews

September 14, 2009

Volume 5 Issue 1 Reviews Sex, Lies And Shakespeare Christopher Rush BEAUTIFUL BOOKS, £15.99 pp352, ISBN 1905636415 Reviewer: RONALD FRAME With Christopher Rush on a roll, title after title of late, it might seem mean-spirited of me to question just what the latest, called Sex, Lies And Shakespeare,...

A Life in a Year

September 14, 2009
by Alan Taylor

A Life in a Year – Alan Taylor IN 1786, BY WHEN he had reached the age of 27, Robert Burns was already a man with a reputation as a rake. His girlfriend, the woman he wanted to make his wife, Jean Armour, was pregnant with what would be their twins. Not surprisingly her father was appalled...

Virgin Soil Upturned

September 4, 2009
by Christopher Harvie

Virgin Soil Upturned – Christopher Harvie ONE SMALL VIGNETTE, of personal interest. In the fifth chapter of Intending Scotland, Cairns Craig turns his analytical beam on the mechanics of communication: the voters hanging on the issue “When would Gordon Brown make contact with Alex Salmond?”...

Our Discontented Winter

September 4, 2009
by John MacLeod

Our Discontented Winter – John MacLeod MOST OF US – and certainly everyone born since, or who were then too young to remember – have a certain idea of the Seventies in Britain. It was a long dark twilight of strife, shortages and a collapsing economy. It was drab. It was bigoted....

Volume 5 – Issue 2 – Gallimaufry

September 4, 2009
by Theresa Munoz

Gallimaufry – Lesley McDowell and Theresa Munoz Angel With Two Faces Nicola Upson FABER, £14.99 pp432 ISBN 0571237959 This is the second detective novel in a series featuring real-life 1930s crime writer, the Inverness-born Josephine Tey. Upson is revisiting what is usually called the ‘Golden Age...

Why Interview Writers?

September 4, 2009
by Ali Smith

Why Interview Writers? – Ali Smith AFTER MORE than twenty years of in-depth interviewing of Scottish writers for the Sound Archive she first began to create in the mid- 1980s, and after editing and publishing exactly twenty, in all, of these good lengthy interviews, Isobel Murray has...

Volume 5 – Issue 2 – Reviews

September 4, 2009

Volume 5 Issue 2 Reviews One Day David Nicholls Hodder & Stoughton, £12.99 pp435 ISBN 0340896965 Reviewer: RONALD FRAME My copy of One Day is an Uncorrected Bound Proof. It comes with the directive “Not for resale or quotation”. I can foresee a problem here: not the matter of offloading...

Generation Kill

September 2, 2009
by Roger Hutchinson

Generation Kill – Roger Hutchinson IN FEBRUARY THIS YEAR the adult population of Harris took an auspicious decision. By a majority of more than two to one, they voted in favour of the whole of their island becoming a National Park. It was a significant ballot not because its result registered...

Sexing Up Maggie

September 2, 2009
by Harry Reid

Sexing Up Maggie – Harry Reid ONE OF THE many silly myths about Margaret Thatcher enthusiastically propagated by her detractors is that she was losing electoral popularity by the mid-1980s, particularly after the miners’ strike. The fact is that in 1987 she won her third general election...