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Volume 09 Issue 2 – Scottish Review of Books

Volume 09 Issue 2

The SRB Interview: James Robertson

June 27, 2013

James Robertson is the author of five novels: The Fanatic, Joseph Knight, The Testament of Gideon Mack, And the Land Lay Still and, most recently, The Professor of Truth. Both Joseph Knight and And the Land Lay Still won the Saltire Book of the Year Award. Before becoming a full-time writer he worked...

Volume 9 – Issue 2 – Editorial

November 16, 2012

THE first mention of Scotland in Margaret Thatcher’s account of her tenure at 10 Downing Street comes on page 602 in her autobiography, which rather confirms the view of many that she had no feeling for a large swathe of the country of which she was soi disant leader. When next she addresses Scotland...

SRB Diary: Diary of a poacher turned gamekeeper

June 28, 2013
by Rosemary Goring

Authors are often asked what the inspiration was for their novels, and you can see their faces freeze into polite boredom at the question. It’s as tedious as being interrogated on what word processing package they use, or how many pages they write a day. What interests me is not the first spark, but...

A Soft Spot for Toffs

June 28, 2013
by David Torrance

In the summer of 1941 a young girl called Margaret Roberts sat her School Certificate exam. Geography posed a particular problem. The first paper, based on work with Ordnance Survey maps, was not too bad, but another paper on the British Isles and ‘one continent’, as she later wrote in her earliest...

Where Mary Met Muriel

June 27, 2013
by Zoë Strachan

Sometimes you meet an author who takes you by the hand, and engages some hitherto untapped corner of the mind. Mary Shelley was such for Muriel Spark, and Spark must have been for countless others. I would count myself one. My first conception of Scottish Literature (apart from Burns, omnipresent in...

Out! Out! Out!

June 28, 2013
by Peter Burnett

Children experience external forces in their lives in the most unlikely ways. The BBC’s WW2 People’s War highlighted the memories of adults whose offspring remembered bright lights in the sky, holidays that they did not know were evacuations and making a bob from salvage.  The convergence of a...

Gene Genius

June 27, 2013
by Alasdair Gray

William Hamilton’s name became known to the general public in 1976 through Richard Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene.  Written to popularize recent discoveries in Darwinian evolution, this book claimed these were mainly due to Hamilton. Some biologists questioned these discoveries in the following years,...

Intellectual Nomad

June 28, 2013
by Cairns Craig

Earlier this year Kenneth White appeared at Aberdeen University’s Mayfestival, giving a lecture on ‘world literature’  and a poetry reading: at both events new books by him were launched, Ideas of Order at Cape Wrath, a set of essays on cultural renewal, and Latitudes and Longitudes, his first...

A Gowk If Ever There Was One

June 28, 2013
by Susan Mansfield

Nancy Brysson Morrison is best known for her 1933 novel The Gowk Storm, though, in fact, she is little known these days even for that. Despite an active writing career spanning over 40 years in which she kept up an industrious output of novels, non-fiction books, stories and journalism, and despite...

Disinterring Pablo Neruda

June 28, 2013
by Stephen Phelan

We crossed from Argentina into Chile over the Andes. The bus was angled upward like a plane taking off, the narrow road rising to an altitude of almost 12,000 feet at the border checkpoint, in a high pass called Los Libertadores. The peaks loomed above us on all sides, with Acongagua in the distance...

Tree Spirit

June 28, 2013
by Kapka Kassabova

Once upon a time, it was all forest, and we were all forest people. Hard to picture if you are surrounded by concrete and traffic, but not so hard to feel it. All it takes is a solitary walk in your nearest woods (which may not be that near, but make the effort), and within minutes you will experience...

Bloody Nora! Ibsen’s A Doll’s House

June 28, 2013
by Joseph Farrell

The most famous door in stage history, the one through which Nora – in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House – will exit to detach herself from her family and good society to claim her life for herself alone, is situated on the right as the audience enters. Attached firmly to it, and well in view, is the letter...

Doubt and the Detective

June 28, 2013
by Colin Waters

The name is misleading. Laidlaw. Makes you think of a man of certainties, of cast-iron convictions, someone who lays the law. William McIlvanney’s detective hero, Jack Laidlaw, is distinguished, however, from the ever-multiplying scrum of fictional sleuths by his uncertainty. ‘The most certain thing...

What do Kids Know?

June 28, 2013
by Brian Morton

Neil Mackay’s debut novel is more Natural Born Killers than What Maisie Knew but it does have its Jamesian turn, and its Jamesian problem. The most problematic of all the windows in what the Master called the House of Fiction is the knee-high one that looks out of, and lets light into, the nursery....

Here Comes Hitler

June 28, 2013
by Wood Ian S.

It is a terrible thing to see our lads marched off, generation after generation, to fight the battles of the English for them. But the end is upon them. When the Germans land in Scotland, the glens will be full of marching men come to greet them and the professors themselves at the universities will...

Volume 9 – Issue 2 – Classifieds

June 28, 2013

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Classified contains a listing of new titles submitted for inclusion by publishers in Scotland. Advertisers in this section are: