Volume 11 Issue 1

The SRB Interview: Debi Gliori

August 14, 2015

Debi Gliori was born in 1959 in Glasgow. She graduated from Edinburgh College of Art and worked as a freelance illustrator before publishing her first picture book, New Big Sister, in 1991. Since then she has published over seventy-five books for children of all ages. Her creation Mr. Bear will be...

Volume 11 Issue 1 – Editorial

August 14, 2015

WHAT Edinburgh was like before the coming of the festival is hard for anyone who did not know it then to imagine. That it was smaller, less populous, darker, sootier, beerier and danker is undoubtedly true. In the years immediately after the Second World War, Britain in general was often portrayed in...

SRB Diary: Our Friends In The North

August 14, 2015
by Adrian Searle

UNTIL four years ago, when I accidently became a publisher, I was rather poorly travelled. Having worked continuously since graduating at 20, I missed out on the itinerant years of my peers. I never ever made it to Ibiza or Phuket; Arbroath and Plockton were as far as my hedonism extended. Publishing...

In Neverland

August 14, 2015
by Tom Pow

JORGE Luis Borges once commented that it was the fate of all great literature to end up, ‘disencumbered’, as stories for children. Certainly there are few great works – folk tale, myth, Homer, Shakespeare – beyond the reach of Ladybird or of the wonderful Marcia Williams. Perhaps they all have...

It’s Not About Her

August 14, 2015
by Julie McDowall

JANICE Galloway doesn’t write about Janice Galloway – except when she does, but on those occasions the books are titled This Is Not About Me and All Made Up. In interviews she disdains the notion that authors should be at the heart of their fiction, drawing from their own life. This aversion to...

In Cold Blood

August 14, 2015
by David Robinson

ODD, isn’t it, how friendships form? Take Duane West and me. We live on different continents, have only spent six hours in each other’s company eight years ago, and might never meet again. Yet every month or so we exchange emails. He’ll tell me about life in Garden City, Kansas, and I keep him...

Body and Soul

August 14, 2015
by Nick Major

In the prologue to Adventures in Human Being, Dr Gavin Francis assures us there is sense in the belief propounded by early anatomists that the ‘structure of the body mirrored the structure of the earth’. But for Francis, the relationship is not just one of microcosm and macrocosm; there is a geological...

Dam Builders

August 14, 2015
by Rosemary Goring

THE beaver, writes Jim Crumley, ‘is the animal that gives rodents a good name’. It’s an arresting comment from one of the country’s best known and most prolific nature writers, who has turned his attention to countless birds and animals over the years, from foxes, owls and badgers to swans,...

Cruising on the Irrawaddy

August 14, 2015
by Roddy Forsyth

WE Scots can be strangely careless with our dramas. How many of us knew about the Gretna Disaster of 1915 until its centenary in May? Virtually nobody, in my experience. Yet it has been called the Titanic of British railway accidents – killing at least 227 people in a carnage involving five trains....

An Inspector Calls

August 14, 2015
by Ronald Frame

PENGUIN is currently republishing the great Belgian-born novelist Georges Simenon (1903-89), for which it is to be commended. Every so often Simenon (in English translation) has been around, before again passing out of circulation for a while. In France he continues to blaze among the Pleiades, the...

For The Love Of Poetry

August 14, 2015
by Alan Taylor

EARLY in the 1980s I was working in the reference library on Edinburgh’s George IV Bridge. Unlike the National Library of Scotland, which is on the other side of the street, there were no gatekeepers to restrict access. Anyone who wanted to enter could, and did. The library was a haven for eccentrics,...

Grecian 2015

August 14, 2015
by Brian Morton

NOT many critical essays stick in the mind on the basis of title only, but ‘Sheherazade runs out of plots, keeps on talking – the king, intrigued, listens’ is one of them. Philip Stevick’s 1973 Tri-Quarterly article was a manifesto of the new ‘fabulatory’ fiction and criticism of the decade,...

Pitlochry For Pleasure

August 14, 2015
by Joseph Farrell

There has always been something implausible about the Pitlochry Festival Theatre, a sensation not dulled by familiarity. Sited in a small town in the Highlands, it was the realisation of a determined dream in the post-war years, perhaps the last time when grand visions for society and the arts could...

Bombing Belfast

August 14, 2015
by Wood Ian S.

ONE of the late Brian Moore’s many fine novels was The Emperor of Ice Cream, published in 1965. It is a coming of age story whose young hero, Gavin Burke, the son of a middle class and Catholic Belfast family, decides, after the outbreak of war in 1939 to do his bit for Britain’s cause by joining...

In Smollett’s Footsteps

August 14, 2015
by Iain Bamforth

THIS cannot be the south of France, (said I to myself) it must be the Highlands of Scotland!’ In Letter XII of his occasionally grumpy but entertaining Travels through France and Italy, written in Nice on December 6, 1763, Tobias Smollett, M.D., surgeon, translator of Don Quixote and author of various...