Volume 10 Issue 5

The SRB Interview: Andrew O’Hagan

March 6, 2015

Andrew O’Hagan was born in Glasgow in 1968, and grew up in Ayrshire. His writing, both fictional and non-fictional, has always been concerned with what he has described as ‘selfhood and its precariousness’. The Missing (1995), his first book, is a memoir and investigation of missing persons and...

Volume 10 Issue 5 – Editorial

September 13, 2013

In 1912, a profile appeared in the Bookman of a Scottish author who, it was said, ‘has breathed a new life into the moribund art of the novel; he has made the short story what a cameo might be when it is cut by the hand of a master, and he has even contrived to make the light essay and occasional...

SRB Diary: On Becoming An Orphan

March 6, 2015
by Ronald Frame

I broke a china cup in the kitchen this morning. A plain tea cup, an old-fashioned salmon-pink in colour, too undistinguished to be confused with repro-retro. It had been part of a wedding present to my parents, a workaday tea-service. One of three pieces left, the cup had survived 64 years … until...

Collar The Lot!

March 6, 2015
by Theresa Munoz

The great influx of Irish into Scotland in the nineteenth century can sometimes obscure the fact that there were other immigrants arriving here in search of a better life. Notable among these were the Italians who began to arrive in 1890s, with their numbers increasing significantly after the First...

Where the Wild Things Are

March 6, 2015
by Peter Ross

THREE years ago, on a bright cold morning in May, I walked out into the Lewis moor for a day at the peats. I was meeting islanders who had dug each summer for years, had grown up with the annual toil, had grown to love it, and who were able to teach me some of the Gaelic peat-words which had come down...

Volume 10 – Issue 5 – New Poems

March 6, 2015
by Paul Durcan

Il Bambino Dormiente Last Tuesday I nipped over to Venice for a day and a night: I needed to see one particular painting in the Gallerie dell’Accademia By Giovanni Bellini: The Madonna Enthroned Adoring the Sleeping Child – Il Bambino Dormiente.  Needed to? Yes – needed to. On the spit of dissolution,...

Two Rooms of My Own

March 6, 2015
by Julie Davidson

VIRGINIA Woolf said famously that in order to write a woman needs an annual income of £500 (done) and ‘a room of one’s own.’ So there’s no excuse. I’ve got two rooms of my own, stacked on top of each other; half a house, in fact, overhanging the gorge of the Licenza river and the cascading...

Pints and Pigeons

March 6, 2015
by Alasdair McKillop

SCOTTISH football lacks for any number of things. One of the less remarked upon is the decline of the high-profile maverick player, those individuals distinguished from the journeyman pack by their playing style, actions or personality. Sometimes the three can combine to produce a figure who transcends...

What’s become of Kennaway

March 6, 2015
by Richard W. Strachan

WHEN James Kennaway died at the age of forty, he left behind five novels (two more were published posthumously), many successful screenplays, and a reputation with enough ballast to ensure that it was unlikely to sink in the fickle tides of critical opinion. His first novel, Tunes of Glory, had been...

The Slab Boys

March 6, 2015
by Joseph Farrell

DESTINY was the theme which intrigued, troubled and tormented the Greeks, underwriting their comedy as much as their tragedy, but it appears to be as much a force in modern Paisley as in ancient Thebes. It may take different forms today, particularly for the serf class in their exclusion from power,...

In Pursuit of John Buchan

March 6, 2015
by Brian Morton

Christopher Hitchens thought that John Buchan marked the mid-point between Rudyard Kipling and Ian Fleming, and was superior to both in certain kinds of atmosphere, characterisation and sheer reading pleasure. It would make sense to add Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson to the lineage,...

Robbie Coltrane’s Back

March 6, 2015
by Tim Cornwell

A headline once described David Eustace as a ‘screw turned snapper’. Before he became a celebrity portrait photographer, he was a prison officer at HMP Barlinnie for five years. Now in his early 50s, and with a number of major commercial assignments in his portfolio, Eustace has settled back into...

Going Dutch

March 6, 2015
by Nick Major

BEFORE he disappears down the rabbit hole George Newhouse curates an exhibition in Amsterdam of work by the seventeenth century minor Dutch artist Pieter Van Doelenstraat. It showcases The Absent Period: ‘dark paintings of empty rooms, abandoned kitchens. Empty beds and solemn, silent instruments’....

Who is Nicola Sturgeon?

March 6, 2015
by Harry McGrath

DAVID Torrance’s biography of Nicola Sturgeon opens in the Scottish Parliament. She is about to become the First Minister of Scotland and ‘appeared relaxed in a red one-piece dress (designed by Edinburgh design duo Totty Rocks). Sitting a few rows behind her was the man she was about to succeed,...

Friends Reunited

March 6, 2015
by Rosemary Goring

READING this collection of poems, two thirds by Iain Banks, the rest by his friend Ken MacLeod, feels a little like picking up a fossil and going back in time.  Banks’s social and political position was clearly and repeatedly expressed in his fiction, his humanitarian rage at the way empires and...

Who Won?

March 6, 2015
by Kevin McKenna

THERE is a little exchange chronicled in David Torrance’s diary of covering Scotland’s independence referendum which inadvertently reveals the gulf that lay between what was experienced during that great debate by the nation’s ordinary citizens on one side and by we in the swollen political commentariat...