Volume 07 Issue 4

The SRB Interview: Liz Lochhead

November 12, 2011

During Liz Lochhead’s SRB interview, she showed Colin Waters, her interlocutor, her diary, evidence of how busy her schedule has grown since accepting the post of Makar, Scotland’s national poet. In this, she succeeded her friend and mentor, Edwin Morgan, the first Makar. The SRB met Lochhead at...

Volume 7 – Issue 4 – Editorial

November 12, 2011

The broad theme of this edition of the Scottish Review of Books is neglected writers and books. It is, of course, a common complaint of authors that their work is not given its due recognition and reward. For every bestseller and prize winner there are countless examples of next-to-no-sellers and also-rans....

SRB Diary: In An Orkney Bookshop

November 12, 2011
by Todd McEwen

Stromness, last winter—although Orkney was having its heaviest weather in fifty years, we weren’t suffering anything like the central belt was. We did our shopping with a plastic sledge we bought at the newsagent’s. Stromness is on the water, and darkness comes early; nevertheless it is a town...

Writers Who Deserve to be Better Known

November 12, 2011

JANICE GALLOWAY Lorna Moon was born in Strichen, Aberdeenshire, in 1886, the latest edition of a disapproved-of line of atheist-socialist stock. Her first marriage came with a ticket to Canada where she met (but did not marry) the Mr Moon whose name she adopted and became a screen-writer for Cecil...

Volume 7 – Issue 4 – Poems – Alexander Hutchison

November 12, 2011
by Alexander Hutchinson

MATTER AND MOISTURE 1 Unlucky in the locations; maybe in the weather too. ‘What we pursue is matter and moisture; what satisfies or implicates us thoroughly however is mostly wispy nonsense to describe’. He got to the point where his heart just couldn’t take another butter biscuit; nor his cortex...

A Bunch of Bananas

November 12, 2011
by Lesley McDowell

To be considered a controversial Scottish novelist,  such a writer  must favour contemporary, urban subject matter and, preferably, be male. Or at least that is the impression one sometimes has. Emma Ten-nant’s life and work suggests an alternative route. Aristocratic, London-born, interested in...

Beebus Scotticus

November 12, 2011
by Kenneth Roy

The Scottish playwright James Bridie, who makes an incidental appearance in this book, unconvincingly dressed as a woman, was often accused of being incapable of writing a third act. For two-thirds of the evening he would beguile and provoke the audience. Then he would lose interest in his characters...

Call To Arms

November 12, 2011
by George Rosie

Until I read Trevor Royle’s latest book, A Time of Tyrants, I’d almost forgotten how much my own family had been involved in World War Two. I had one cousin who navigated Lancaster bombers over Germany, another who fought his way up Italy with the Highland Light Infantry, another who manned a tank...

The Sins of The Father

November 12, 2011
by Alan Taylor

The trial in Jerusalem in 1961 of Adolf Eichmann was what we have learned to call a media circus. Between 1941 and 1945 Eichmann was directly responsible for the transporting of over two million Jews to their deaths in Auschwitz-Birkenau and other death camps. By the late 1950s, however, he had sunk...

The Real MacLean

November 12, 2011
by Christopher Whyte

When I agreed to be joint editor, along with Emma Dymock, of a new edition of Sorley MacLean’s collected poems published to mark his centenary, I underestimated the magnitude of the task which I was taking on. Admirable as the volume published during the poet’s lifetime, O Choille gu Bearradh (From...

Nobel Thoughts

November 12, 2011
by Brian Morton

There’s nothing quite like a Nobel announcement for showing up the arts media at their sour and ignorant worst. Reactions to Tomas Tranströmer’s 2011 win of the literature prize ranged from a flat “Who?” in the New York Times to the suggestion, repeated in several places, that giving the award...

Paisley’s Picasso

November 12, 2011
by Duncan MacMillan

A few years ago John Byrne said of himself, ‘I have many voices and many different colours of voice and different mimicking voices as well and I think at my time of life it’s about time to start on some serious business.’  Perhaps, however, all those different voices, and in so many different...

Nights At The Boovies

November 12, 2011
by Colin Waters

Calling a narrative a story implies a termination point, an ending, happy or otherwise. The Story of Film, Mark Cousins’ fifteen-part chronicle of the cinema, has been a reliable highlight of the otherwise drossy Saturday night television schedules. But what kind of a story is the series telling?...

Volume 7 – Issue 4 – Gallimaufry

November 12, 2011
by Theresa Munoz

PRELUDE TO EVEREST Ian R. Mitchell & George W. Rodway LUATH PRESS, £20.00 304PP ISBN 978-1906817749 When a mountaineering expert and a scientist collaborate on a biography, the result is a mix of detailed expeditions and laboratory experiments. Ian R. Mitchell and George W. Rodway’s biography...

Volume 7 – Issue 4 – Classifieds

November 12, 2011

FICTION Prester John John Buchan POLYGON £7.99 PB 978 0 85790 162 0 South Africa, 1900. 19-year-old David Crawfurd is sent to South Africa to earn his living as a storekeeper. A strange encounter on the journey suggests that dark deeds are afoot – all bound up with the mysterious primeval kingdom...