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Latest – Page 4 – Scottish Review of Books


Spring Fever

April 1, 2019
by Rosemary Goring

We’ve had Autumn, followed by Winter. Now, Jim Crumley rolls us into Spring. He could be Ali Smith’s naturalist twin, so close are their titles and timing. Published to coincide with the rising of sap and the chittering of nesting birds, The Nature of Spring is the product of intense observation....


April 1, 2019
by Alan Taylor

IT has become accepted to talk about places both real and imaginary in novels as characters. The most recent example of this was a tweet from a well-respected Scottish literary organisation which declared that the landscape described in The Thirty-Nine Steps is as much of a ‘character’ in John...

Coming and Going

April 1, 2019
by Alasdair McKillop

"Impatience explains why I was ready to adopt a quarrelsome attitude to James Meek’s new book within moments of opening it, before the page numbers had even arrived on the scene." Alasdair McKillop reviews James Meek's 'Dreams of Leaving and Remaining'.

The Edinburgh Booksellers

April 1, 2019

The following piece was written for the Scots Magazine in 1802 at the height of the Enlightenment when it was commonplace in Edinburgh to bump into men of genius, of whom Leyden was undoubtedly one. Edmund Curl, who is mentioned by Leyden, was a notorious and unscrupulous English bookseller who specialised...

Blazing a trail – celebrating the first Scottish woman to see her work in print

March 8, 2019
by Dr Anette Hagan, National Library of Scotland

Dr Anette Hagan is the Rare Books Curator (Early Printed Collections to 1700) at the National Library of Scotland (NLS). In this piece, in celebration of International Women's Day, she explores the work of Elizabeth Melville, the first Scottish woman to see her work in print.


March 6, 2019

  The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, now in its tenth year, has announced a longlist of twelve books in contention for the £25,000 prize.  A further list of twenty books recommended by the Prize’s Academy is also unveiled today. The Longlist of twelve is: Little by Edward Carey...

Notebook: In Scott Country

March 1, 2019
by Alan Taylor

  AS the train from Edinburgh pulls out of Galashiels and inches across the River Tweed on the way to its final stop at Tweedbank the Eildons rise like soufflés in the distance. Consisting of three hills, the highest of which, the banally-named Mid Hill, is just under 1,400 feet, they are the...

Low Level Crime

March 1, 2019
by Rosemary Goring

Rosemary Goring reviews Alexander McCall Smith's new 'Scani blanc' novel, The Department of Sensitive Crimes.

Winter Haiku

March 1, 2019
by Suria Tei

  winter morning the cat’s shadow on the kitchen wall * * * wintry sunshine on my bookshelves words chuckle * * * outside: winter rain inside: my father’s portrait, a dozing cat * * * after last night’s storm my neighbour’s old trampoline slanted, still standing * * * wintry downpour the...

Cult Fiction

March 1, 2019
by Laura M. Morgan

Laura M. Morgan reviews Ewan Morrison's new novel, Nina X.