|Alexander McColl Smith
Disgracefully as usual in a Time article there is no mention of Scotland’s recent Booker prize winners. The Scottish literary scene boasts several Booker prize winners – 2020 Douglas Stuart’s, Shuggie Bain, 1994 James Kelman’s, How Late It Was, How Late.
Plus Booker shortlisted authors – Ali Smith, Andrew O’Hagan, AL Kennedy, Graham McCrea Burnett, Muriel Spark. World famous Scots novelists of modern times include –Iain Banks, Val McDermid, Irvine Welsh, Ian Rankin, Louise Welsh, Liz Lochhead, Alan Bisset, Chris Brookmyre, Denise Mina, Alexander McColl Smith, Alasdair Gray, Janice Galloway, William McIlcanney, Maggie O’Farrell,
Famous Scots writers of the past – Arthur Conan Doyle, J M Barrie, John Buchan, Robert Louis Stevenson, James Boswell, John Barbour, Adam Smith,
Hackett quotes Irish writer Magee, “The English may be too comfortable to write great novels.”
At least six times in her article she labels ‘Britain/ England’ as one and the same, the England label can never include Scots or the Welsh and we’ll never regard Britain as England as our cultural or historic home, even though so many Scots remain in ignorance of Scotland’s rich histories of which we might be proud. Its time Londoners woke up to this reality.
Our creative stories, arts and music are intrinsic to our shared voices and view of self.
Perhaps creative thinkers either can’t afford or don’t want to be in London. In ‘Britain/ England’ mind-set little exists outside of London. In the 80s London boasted a thriving literary scene around Soho. But today’s London is dominated in its skyline by foreign oligarchs empty high-rises, populist musicals, global chain outlets and over priced art.
Photos copyright Pauline Keightley
Anthology of Scottish stories – Gerard Caruthers
Scottish literature, an introduction – Alan Riach.
The Fair Botanist – Sara Sheridan
Scottish Pastoral: Robert Burns and British Romanticism -