There are some writers whose treatment of a particular subject you can almost predict. That's not necessarily a bad thing. John Higgs, though, is not one of those writers. This warm, witty and endlessly interesting writer is described (accurately, for my money) on his website as someone who "specialises in finding previously unsuspected narratives, hidden … Continue reading The work of John Higgs
The Nouveau Roman was a French Modernist literary movement of the 1950s whose antecedents were Joyce, Beckett and Proust. A common theme among the works produced by those writers grouped as nouveax romanistes were "discontinuity, rupture, difference and revolution"¹, and they defined themselves against "a dominant culture in thrall to a staid and anachronistic concept … Continue reading The “Nouveau Roman”: where to start?
Alasdair Gray lived - and wrote and drew and painted - in the hope of seeing Scotland once again become an independent nation. There's a grim symmetry in that he died at the very end of a decade which had come so close to seeing just that, and on the cusp of a new one … Continue reading Alasdair Gray 1934 – 2019
The Man Booker Prize is 50 years old in 2019. In that time, only one Scottish author has won. In 1994, in the prize's 25th anniversary year James Kelman's How Late It Was, How Late became the most controversial - and least likely - victor. The Booker Prize (as it was then called) is sometimes … Continue reading James Kelman
From the briefest of biographical details, John Calder would seem an unlikely revolutionary. Scion of a brewing dynasty, he once stood for election as the Liberal candidate for his home seat of Kinross. But at 90 this Scottish-Canadian publisher is still active, and still fighting against the forces of cultural reaction. Few publishers can claim … Continue reading Calder Books – a celebration