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Volume 10 Issue 2 – Scottish Review of Books

Volume 10 Issue 2

The SRB Interview: Neal Ascherson

August 3, 2014

Neal Ascherson was born in Edinburgh in 1932. He gained a scholarship to study at Eton and progressed to King’s College, Cambridge. Eschewing a life in academia, he became a journalist in the 1950s. He started as a reporter for the Manchester Guardian, and later became commonwealth correspondent for...

SRB Diary: London calling

August 3, 2014

NOW here’s a fascinating question that’s guaranteed to amaze your friends and break the ice at the most frozen of parties – how many Scots live in London? Go on, take a guess. Number of Scots in London. I’ll have to hurry you . . . And the answer is – somewhere between 250,000 and 350,000....

Becoming a Scot

August 3, 2014
by Theresa Munoz

I COME from a family of immigrants, though I never thought of us that way until I became an immigrant myself. My father’s ancestors migrated to the Philippines from Madrid, taking the name Muñoz with them. My mother’s grandfather was from Taiwan. As legend goes, the family name was Tan but after...

Northern Lights

August 3, 2014
by Malachy Tallack

IN my second year at university, in a tutorial that had touched on the work of Edwin Muir, I was asked a difficult question. Remembering that he had an islander in the class, our tutor – Dr Reid, he was – turned to me and grinned. ‘So,’ he said, ‘why has Shetland not produced a writer like...

SIX of the best

August 3, 2014
by James Robertson

The News Where You Are   That’s all from us. Now it’s time for the news where you are. The news where you are comes after the news where we are. The news where we are is the news. It comes first. The news where you are is the news where you are. It comes after. We do not have the news where you...

Bad Bankers and Bankrupt Banks

August 3, 2014
by Michael Fry

People always meant it as a compliment to the late lamented leader of the Labour party, John Smith, when they described him as being like a Scottish bank manager: sober suit, subdued tie, polished shoes, bald head, owlish spectacles, slight frown as if contemplating a request for an overdraft he felt...

Shuffling the Deck

August 3, 2014
by Colin Waters

Pick a metaphor, any metaphor. That’s right, madam, don’t let me or the audience see it. Okay, slip it back into the deck. Now shuffle them, and hand the deck back to me. Ta da! Is this your metaphor? DILYS Rose’s new novel doesn’t hold its cards close to its chest. Its governing metaphor is...

What’s the Alternative?

August 3, 2014
by Jamie Maxwell

A  few months ago I visited the Rangers supporters’ club in Sandy Row, a staunchly loyalist area of south Belfast where the pavements are literally painted red, white and blue. I went to talk about Scottish independence with the club’s manager, a pleasant, stocky, tattooed chap named Warren Miller,...

Best Foot Forward

August 3, 2014
by Lee Randall

ON A HUMID June evening some weeks before the solstice, I embarked upon my journey. I’d packed carefully, making sure that my pen had plenty of ink and that my wine glass was full. Climbing gingerly into bed so as not to disturb my feline travelling companions, I made a nest out of sweet-smelling...

Reassessing Robert McLellan: SRB at the Theatre

August 3, 2014
by Joseph Farrell

DURING the Franco dictatorship, the use of the Catalan language was banned both in private and in public, so in Catalonia one of the main consequences of the restoration of democracy was the ‘normalisation,’ that is, the assertion of the right to use what Catalans considered their normal language....

Volume 10 – Issue 2 – Visiting Scotland – New Poems

August 3, 2014
by Alan Roddick

Doon the Watter, 1946   Overhead, wire baskets spill petunias. Left and right, potted palms line the walls. Far behind, our train’s gone back to Glasgow. Somewhere ahead, the ferry must be late.

Amen to All That

August 3, 2014
by Harry Reid

ONE of the chapters of this always fascinating book opens with a reference to the first papal visit to Scotland, which took place in June 1982. Its author, Steve Bruce, a professor of sociology at Aberdeen University, notes that 300,000 attended the great mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow. It was...

Off the Beaten Track

August 3, 2014
by Hugh MacDonald

THIS collection of journalism was sent to me with a polite inquiry: see if it makes a book. The concern was raised by a newspaper journalist to a newspaper journalist about a newspaper journalist’s work. Self-deprecation may not be the first trait one associates with the grubbers of the press but...