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...

Highland Book Prize Longlist Announced

November 9, 2018
by Kristian Kerr

  The longlist for the Highland Book Prize, announced today, features an expanding range of books in the prize’s second year. The proportion of fiction on the list of fourteen titles has increased in 2018 with Gaelic and crime fiction featuring for the first time. Donnchadh MacGillIosa is...

Kenneth Roy, 26 March 1945 – 5 November 2018

November 8, 2018
by Tom Johnstone

There was widespread shock and sadness in Scotland at the revelation, in a typically graceful piece by Kenneth Roy for the Scottish Review, the online journal he founded and edited, that he had a terminal illness. His death, more shockingly, followed only a month later, but not before he had revealed,...

Rusticated… (II)

November 2, 2018
by Brian Morton

  A teaching colleague asks what I’ve been up to during the mid-semester break, and looks perplexed and mildly offended by my answer, which throws me in turn. To cover any awkwardness, however unintended, I go on to explain that, while alder isn’t high on anyone’s list of great firewoods...

Kassabova, Al Rawi win International Prizes

November 1, 2018
by Kristian Kerr

  Two international awards were announced this week: Kapka Kassabova has won the British Academy’s Nayef Al-Rodhan Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2018 and Shahad Al Rawi has won the 2018 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award. Iraqi writer Al Rawi wins for her debut...

Saltire Literary Awards Shortlists Announced

October 23, 2018
by Kristian Kerr

Starry names, writers’ writers and exciting new talents all feature on the shortlists for Scotland’s annual cross-genre literary awards, which were announced on October 22nd. The Saltire Literary Awards are organised by the Saltire Society, a non-political independent charity founded in...

Book of the Month: The Evening Road by Laird Hunt

October 19, 2018
by Anna Girling

  The lynching of two black men, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, in Marion, Indiana on August 7, 1930 casts a long shadow. While lynchings were more common in the 1930s than we may now care to remember, an infamous photograph of the men hanging from a tree, with a crowd of high-spirited spectators...

Anna Burns wins Man Booker 2018

October 18, 2018

  Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber & Faber) has been announced as the winner of the 50th Man Booker Prize. Burns, 56, who was born in Belfast and lives in East Sussex, drew on the experience of Northern Ireland during the Troubles to write Milkman. Her first acclaimed novel, No Bones, was...


October 5, 2018
by Brian Morton

We might as well be wearing togas, and the long bar of the Dalbuie might as well be the Forum. Ernie and I pace solemnly, speaking Latin. We’re not discussing the relationship between esse and existere, nor (switching ancient tongues) the fine line between homoiousian and homoousian. The question...

Liam McIlvanney wins Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award

September 22, 2018

Writer Liam McIlvanney has won the 2018 McIlvanney Prize for the crime book of the year at the Bloody Scotland festival in Stirling. His book, The Quaker, was described by the judges as the standout winner of this year’s competition. The prize was renamed two years ago in memory of Liam’s...