The New Publications page will include titles from a variety of publishers, including several titles from one guest publisher. The guest publisher in this issue is Birlinn Books. Ordering information for Birlinn’s titles is provided at the bottom of this page, where you will also find a short list of periodicals.
Literature of Scotland: The Middle Ages to the Nineteenth Century
by Roderick Watson
Palgrave MacMillan, March 2007
Critics hailed The Literature of Scotland as one of the most comprehensive and fascinatingly readable accounts of Scottish life and literature. This revised edition now focuses on Medieval to Victorian times, exploring the growth of the idea of a nation from the early ballads and the oral tradition to the achievement of Burns, Scott and Carlyle. The literature which followed in the modern period is discussed in a new companion volume Literature of Scotland: The Twentieth Century.
Alba Literaria: A History of Scottish Literature
ed. Marco Fazzini
Amos Edizioni, November 2006
The Alba Literaria represents something of a landmark contribution to the growing number of critical histories of ‘Scottish literary production’. Though extending to more than 800 pages, this surprisingly compact publication consists of forty-eight essays on single authors or single aspects of Scottish literature, from the earliest epic poems and chronicles to new Scottish poetry, drama and fiction-writing. […] Alba Literaria proposes ‘a redefinition of the Scottish canon’, relocating and subverting the old centre, thus ‘making new centres out of old peripheries’.
Representing Scotland in Literature, Popular Culture and Iconography: The Masks of the Modern Nation
by Alan Riach
Palgrave MacMillan, 2004
This fascinating new study is about cultural change and continuities. At the core of the book are discrete literary studies of Scotland and Shakespeare, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, the modern Scottish Renaissance of the 1920s and more recent cultural and literary phenomena. The central theme of literature and popular ‘representation’ recontextualises literary analysis in a broader, multi-faceted picture involving all the arts and the changing sense of what ‘the popular’ might be in a modern nation. New technologies alter forms of cultural production and the book charts a way through these forms, from oral poetry and song to the novel, and includes studies of paintings, classical music, socialist drama, TV, film and comic books. The international context for mass media cultural production is examined as the story of the intrinsic curiosity of the imagination and the intensely local aspect of Scotland’s cultural self-representation unfolds.
Catherine Carswell: A Biography
by Jan Pilditch
April 2007, ISBN 0859766853
Jan Pilditch presents a vivid account of the life of Catherine Carswell, a rebellious and intellectual Scottish writer and critic. She is recognised as a substantial figure in the Scottish Renaissance and her Edwardian novels, set in the West End of Glasgow, were strikingly original. Her Life of Robert Burns produced a furore in Scottish newspapers for its depiction of a man, rather than a legend, and her biography of D. H. Lawrence, The Savage Pilgrimage, was withdrawn amid threats of legal action. Jan Pilditch’s comprehensive research also tells us much about women and their writing in the early years of the twentieth century.
The Black Halo: The Complete English Stories 1977 – 98
by Iain Crichton Smith
September 2001, ISBN 1841581712
Crichton Smith wrote short stories throughout his life. Some are fragments, others almost novellas, and the best of them all show him to be an author of unique sensitivity and intelligence. The pieces in this collection form a central part of his oeuvre, demonstrating the full range and versatility of his literary talent. From humour to tragedy, from inner monologues to extrovert surrealism, the diversity of his writing indicates the extraordinary range of his own reading and mental world. With The Red Door: The Complete English Stories 1949-76, these collection include over 45 stories never before published in book form, as well as others that have been out of print for many years, thus making it possible to judge Crichton Smith’s achievement as a writer in full.
Writing Scotland: How Scotland’s Writers Shaped the Nation
by Carl MacDougall
October 2004, ISBN 1904598234
For centuries a series of distinctive voices have kept the idea of Scotland alive and given the world a literature which is the birthright of every Scot. In Robert Burns we have the only poet enjoying worldwide celebrity. Sir Walter Scott invented the historical and romantic novels, Conan Doyle gave us the world’s most famous detective and Robert Louis Stevenson invented the psychological novel. To accompany the eight-part TV series Writing Scotland, produced by Hopscotch Films for BBC Scotland, presenter Carl MacDougall takes a fresh and passionate look at Scottish literature from Burns to the present day, with comments from contemporary authors expanding on the main themes of the first ever television series about Scottish literature: from landscape, superstition and tartan myths to our lost voices, religion, travel and language.
Heaven-Taught Fergusson: Robert Burns’s Favourite Scottish Poet
by Robert Crawford
August 2002, ISBN 1862322015
The ten specially commissioned poems in this book paying tribute (directly or indirectly) to Robert Fergusson continue a tradition of homage while sounding their own contemporary notes. Sometimes gleeful, sometimes solemn, Heaven-taught Fergusson both winks at and scrutinises a poet who was in several ways strikingly different from Burns. Poets and critics from three continents come together in this volume. In various ways their soundings suggest just what it is about Fergusson that makes him still seem ‘heaven-taught’.
Love is a Fervent Fire
by Robin Jenkins
August 2005, ISBN 1904598463
In Love is a Fervent Fire Jenkins plumbs the depths of the subtlest human emotions in a brilliant study of sexual psychology. Burnt-out war hero and widower, Hugh Carstares, moves to a small Scottish village to work with the forestry service. The arrival of this intriguing, enigmatic, single man triggers the villagers’ intense curiosity, which soon turns to violent passion and hatred as Constance Kilgour and her fatherless child become the objects of Hugh’s love and compassion.
Walking With Murder: On the ‘Kidnapped’ Trail
by Ian Nimmo
July 2005, ISBN 1841584096
Few people who have read Robert Louis Stevenson‘s Kidnapped can resist its appeal. As a boy living in Highland Perthshire, Ian Nimmo also came under its spell. The fascination continued until one day he looked out his climbing boots and rucksack and headed for Mull to follow in the footsteps of David Balfour and Alan Breck in that great trek across Scotland that turned into a murder hunt. He took to the heather, camped down in it as darkness fell, supped dramach, guddled for trout and shared their fugitive lives over some of Scotland’s wildest and most spectacular country. Now not only is he regarded as an authority on the Appin Murder, but also on the life of Robert Louis Stevenson. What makes Ian Nimmo’s account so interesting is that he explores the kidnapped route across Scotland through three eras – as it was after the ‘Forty Five, the setting of Kidnapped, as he found it forty years ago when he first tramped the Kidnapped trail, and noticing the dramatic changes on the route today, which are altering the very nature and character of Scotland.
Scottish Writers Talking 3
by Isobel Murray
April 2006, ISBN 0859766462
In this collection of in-depth interviews, Isobel Murray meets five varied Scottish authors, aiming to penetrate their work and reveal previously unexplored aspects of their writing. These interviews open a window onto each writer’s mind and work. Joan Lingard talks of her many superb children’s books, both Scottish and Irish, as well as her adult novels. John Herdman follows a darker philosophical tradition of Scottish thinking that stems from Hogg and his Confessions of a Justified Sinner. Saltire Prize winner Janice Galloway discusses her journeys in fiction with some departures from conventional novel writing. The short story writer and Booker shortlisted novelist Ali Smith enjoys striking sparks off the interviewer, her former university supervisor. And Robin Jenkins, winner of a lifetime achievement award for his Scottish fiction, was in a rare talkative mood; his candid discussion is particularly poignant in light of his death in 2005.
Alias MacAlias: Writings on Songs, Folk and Literature
by Hamish Henderson
November 2004, ISBN 1904598218
Hamish Henderson was one of the most significant figures in the cultural life of Scotland during the twentieth century; a man of extraordinary intellectual versatility and a committed humanitarian. The essays in this collection, extensively expanded by friend and editor Alec Finlay, range from humorous autobiographical reminiscences, wartime memoirs, flytings, chatty reviews and scholarly critiques of songs and tales, to his introductory essay to Gramsci‘s famous Prison Letters. Subjects include Hugh MacDiarmid, Lorca, the tinker-gypsies, ballads, the burgeoning folk scene and the Clearances. Completing the volume are tributes to individuals such as Jeannie Robertson, Ewan McCall and Roy Williamson.
Burns the Radical: Poetry and Politics in Late Eighteenth-Century Scotland
by Liam McIlvanney
August 2002, ISBN 1862321779
McIlvanney reveals Burns as a sophisticated political poet whose work draws on a range of intellectual resources: the democratic, contractarian ideology of Scottish Presbyterianism, the English and Irish ‘Real Whig’ tradition, and the political theory of the Scottish Enlightenment. Throwing new light on the poet’s education and his early reading, McIlvanney provides detailed new readings of Burns’s major poems. The book also offers new research on Burns’s links with Irish poets and radicals, providing a radical reinterpretation of the man who is coming to be recognised as the poet laureate of the radical Enlightenment.
Edinburgh Literary Companion
by Andrew Lownie
July 2005, ISBN 1904598617
Few cities can boast such a distinguished literary pedigree as Edinburgh. Burns, Scott, Conan Doyle, Buchan, Dorothy Dunnett and J.K. Rowling have all lived in the city; Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon convalesced there (inspiring Pat Barker’s Booker-prize-winning Regeneration trilogy), and Dickens and Thackeray came on triumphant reading tours. Visitors have ranged from Defoe and George Eliot to Wordsworth, Hans Christian Anderson and the hundreds of renowned authors who now appear at one of the literary world’s most important annual events – The Edinburgh International Book Festival. This updated and hugely expanded edition of The Literary Companion to Edinburgh traces the city’s history from the Old Town, dominated by the Castle and the High Streets with its numerous wynds and closes, to the elegant and spacious New Town and its surrounding villages.
International Journal of Scottish Literature
Editors: Eleanor Bell and Scott Hames
ISSN 1751-2808, two issues per year
The International Journal of Scottish Literature, launched at the MLA in December 2006, is a peer-reviewed online journal which aims to develop and circulate international perspectives on Scottish writing. The journal is ‘international’ in focusing on views of Scottish writers from critics outside Scotland, articles on trans-national influences and audiences, comparative studies, reviews of translations, translations of criticism, and so on. As an online journal, IJSL is a venue as well as a stimulus of such discussion.
Scottish Studies Review
Editors: Margery Palmer McCulloch and Murray Pittock
ISSN 1475-7737, two issues per year
Scottish Studies Review publishes critical and scholarly articles on Scotland’s literature, art, music, history, politics and culture. With literature at its heart, it offers outstanding value as a scholarly magazine. Each issue also includes a substantial book review section.
Editor: J. Derrick McClure
ISSN 0264-0198, one issue per year
Once per year, Scottish Language publishes the best, latest research on Scotland’s languages and linguistics. From place-name study to medieval poetry to language in the modern media, Scottish Language is the foremost publication in this field.