We’ve asked Scotland’s leading writers, booksellers, festival directors and critics to pick one, or two, books — published this year or in the past — that they most enjoyed reading in 2018. There will be new selections every day throughout December — so keep reading for great ideas about what to read next and visit your nearest high street bookshop to purchase your Christmas gifts! Today’s selection is from Liam Alastair Crouse.
By Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir
Sgrìobh Stiùiriche Choimisean Beul-aithris na h-Èireann ann an 1950 gun robh Uibhist “bulging with the richest unrecorded mine of tradition in Western Europe”. Ach, 1978, dùil an robh an dùthchas fhathast ri bùchdadh? ’S e obair a’ chruinneachaidh, cuide ri obair an dotair theaghlaich, as motha a th’ air aire athair Chailein, ’s e ga stiùireadh a dh’ionnsaigh cuid de sheanchaidhean mu dheireadh dìleab àrsaidh Uibhist. Cleas an sgeulaiche Uibhistich, tha Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir – e fhèin na dhotair agus na sheanchaidh de bheul-aithris Uibhist – gar toirt gu saoghal nach eil buileach cho fad às.
Tha Liam Alastair Crouse ag obair do Cheòlas Uibhist, a bhios a’ toirt dualchas Gàidhealach Uibhist
dhan ath ghinealach.
In 1950, the Director of the Irish Folklore Commission wrote that Uist was “bulging with the richest unrecorded mine of tradition in Western Europe”. But, in 1978, was that mine still producing? Cailean, a young Gaelic speaker from Greenock, is steered by his father towards the last exponents
of millenia-old Gaelic tradition to find out. In the style of a Uist seanchaidh, Màrtainn Mac an t-Saoir– himself a medical doctor and tradition bearer – hints that the tide is not fully out on the folklore of the Outer Hebrides.
Liam Alastair Crouse works for Ceòlas Uibhist, securing Uist’s Gaelic heritage for future generations. Find him on Twitter @LiamAlastair