Volume 03 Issue 2

The SRB Interview: AL Kennedy

October 26, 2009

AL KENNEDY was born on October 22, 1965 in Dundee. After studying English and drama at Warwick University, she worked as a children’s puppeteer. During this period, she wrote the stories that formed her first book, Night Geometry And The Garscadden Trains, which was published to acclaim in 1991. In...

Volume 3 – Issue 2 – Editorial

October 22, 2009

A recent report in the Washington Post told of a library in Fairfax County where the librarians have been weeding out underperforming books. Included among the authors removed from the shelves were Aristotle, Hardy, Kerouac, Pasternak, Proust, Maya Angelou, the Brontes and Solzhenitsyn. A librarian...

SRB Diary: Brownsbank Days

October 22, 2009
by Tom Bryan

Thursday, 1st March 2007. St. David’s Day. My first day back at Brownsbank, after over six weeks away in Australia and New Zealand. I leave the main Edinburgh road, driving up the crumbling and muddy farm track to the familiar blue gate. It is a bright sunny day, no wind. Snowdrops all over the garden,...

Oh Scotland!

October 22, 2009
by George Rosie

I’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE” I kept muttering to myself all the way through the week’s election campaign. The feeling of déjà vu was strong. There was the same excitement in the Scottish press as the opinion polls suggested that the SNP were about to break through and topple Labour. There was the...

A Bullet Through the Post

October 22, 2009
by Jennie Calder

CATHERINE MACFARLANE, an intelligent young woman with artistic leanings and some talent as a musician, grew up in Glasgow in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. Her early years reveal an environment that was at the same time constrained and expansive, closed and stimulating. She was a child...

Serious Characters

October 26, 2009
by Alan Riach

WHEN I ARRIVED at Browns-bank Cottage, having taken my time driving over the border hills enjoying the afternoon, Valda met me at the door: “You’re late!” she pronounced, and proceeded to bundle me back into the car, to drive her into Biggar to the bank before it closed, to pick up her...

Bridge Builder

October 26, 2009
by Douglas Gifford

IT’S ALMOST QUARTER of a century since The Wasp Factory brought to attention Iain Banks. Since then, he has produced eleven novels and the non-fiction whisky-and-personal reflection odyssey, Raw Spirits, while working under the Iain M Banks moniker he has written nine science-fiction novels as well...

Best Laid Plans

October 26, 2009
by Pat Kane

IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATELY Geddesian to push a review of essays about the great and chaotic Scottish generalist to the very rag-end of a deadline. But I could only attempt to write this in the aftermath of the Scottish Parliament general election of 2007. And if the SNP had failed to achieve even that...

Welsh Rarebit

October 26, 2009
by Ronald Frame

No, I hadn’t read Irvine Welsh either. His books seemed easy to resist. The hype. The style-accessory business. The yoof market (even if the author wasn’t young). I recall a press story about the Grampian police deploring the effects of Trainspotting, the film, its glorification of drugs. You...

Volume 3 – Issue 2 – New Poems – Donny O’Rourke

October 26, 2009
by Donny O'Rourke

 Great Is the Cause of My Sorrow (from a Gaelic fragment and to the traditional air from it) For Eddie McGuire Great is the cause of my sorrow Weary the weight of my woe Will we never be done with despairing Of what winter has brought to Glencoe? The king and his Campbells have curdled The milk in...

Volume 3 – Issue 2 – Gallimaufry

October 26, 2009
by Lesley McDowell

Jungle Capitalists – A Story Of Globalisation, Greed And Revolution Peter Chapman CANONGATE, £10.99 pp220 ISBN 184195909X The UK’s favourite fruit, the banana, tastes as sweet as its history is foul. At its height, the United Fruit Company, had a virtual monopoly on the growth and sales of bananas,...