Volume 08 Issue 3

The SRB Interview: James Kelman

June 8, 2012

James Kelman was born in Govan in 1946 and brought up there and in Drumchapel. He left school at fifteen, and was living in London when he published his first short story collection, An Old Pub Near the Angel (1973). This was followed in 1983 with another collection, Not not while the giro, and shortly...

Volume 8 – Issue 3 – Editorial

June 8, 2012

The edinburgh writers’ Conference, held fifty years ago this month, has become the stuff of legend and not a few myths.  It was ‘curated’, as we say in this age of weasel words, by John Calder, a scion of the brewing Calders of Perthshire, who as a publisher was responsible for introducing...

SRB Diary: Leave Me Alone: Diary Of A Writer In Retreat

August 10, 2012
by Kapka Kassabova

I’m nobody! Who are you? Are you nobody, too? Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell! They’d banish us, you know.   How dreary to be somebody! How public, like a frog  To tell your name the livelong day To an admiring bog!’   Emily Dickinson A writer is someone who is most alive when...

It Never Rains But It Pours

June 8, 2012
by Brian Morton

  All of us inhabit some nub of ‘environmental history’, whether we are aware of it or not. It has been Christopher Smout’s particular gift to humanise and bring home, in a very literal sense, aspects of what in other hands often seems a dismal science. Environmental history struggles between...

Thrust: A Short Story

June 8, 2012
by Brian McCabe


That must be it there, Julie said.

Michael eased his foot off the accelerator and leaned forward, peering towards the place at the roadside his wife was pointing to. 

Sweet And Sour

August 10, 2012
by Harry McGrath

If sexual intercourse began in 1963, the Scottish diaspora began in 1999. And if the former was rather late for Philip Larkin, the latter was rather late for the last great wave of Scottish emigrants who left in the post-war years and were almost past their prime before we discovered them. Since...

Burmese Days

June 8, 2012
by Theresa Munoz

  Burma’s boy soldiers are the focus of Toni Davidson’s sad but electrifying comeback novel. Kidnapped by the country’s national army Tatmadaw Kyi, these boys are meant to cover the lack of adult recruits. Beaten, humiliated and given guns, the kid militia are forced to raze villages (even their...

Macbeth and Madness

June 8, 2012
by Joseph Farrell

  One of the most significant trials of recent times is underway in Oslo, where the defence team of mass murderer Anders Breivik is trying to have him classified as insane, against the wishes of the accused himself. He is boastful of his crimes, claims they were justified, or even that he was provoked...

Let The Presses Roll

August 10, 2012
by Alan Taylor

Those who go in search of the archetypal Scot need look no farther than Arnold Kemp. He was, it must immediately be acknowledged, a romantic, which all true Scots are, and given, as all true journalists are, to intemperate and often ephemeral enthusiasms and antipathies. His love of the country in which...

Evil All Around

June 8, 2012
by Lesley McDowell

  If all Scotland’s contemporary writers, Louise Welsh probably straddles that commercial-literary divide the best. Commercial writers may complain about a lack of literary recognition, whilst literary writers can only dream of five-figure sales, but Welsh, from her 2002 debut novel, The Cutting...

What If There Is A God?

August 10, 2012
by Colin Waters

What are we to make of a novel that describes itself as ‘old-fashioned’? Not ‘timeless’ or even ‘traditional’, but ‘old-fashioned’? It’s a curious adjective; some might think it pejorative in certain cases. It is particularly strange when we see the term applied to The Heart Broke...

Inwards And Outwards

August 10, 2012
by Susan Mansfield

Victoria Crowe,’ writes Guy Pep-loe from the Scottish Gallery in a foreword to this monograph, ‘has quietly emerged into a preeminent position in Scottish painting’. The key word in this sentence is ‘quietly’. In an age where art all too often courts drama and controversy, Crowe has achieved...

Word Power

August 10, 2012
by Paul Henderson Scott

The editors of Scotland in Definition, A History of Scottish Dictionaries, Iseabail Macleod and Derrick McClure, have both spent most of their careers in the study of promotion of the Scottish languages, especially Scots. Macleod has worked for the Scottish National Dictionary since 1979 and from 1986...

Two States: One Solution

June 8, 2012
by Allan Cameron

Some of the best dissidents are born into archetypal families within the societies of which they will become such prominent critics. George Orwell, old Etonian and colonial official, would become the scourge of the privileged and a fierce opponent of colonialism, and yet he remained not only profoundly...

Volume 8 – Issue 3 – Classifieds…

August 10, 2012


Classified contains a listing of new titles submitted for inclusion by publishers in Scotland.