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A LITTLE TOUCH OF CLIFF IN THE EVENING

New Writing Scotland 30

Edited by Carl MacDougall & Zoë Strachan

Published in: Paperback, 336 pages.
By: Association for Scottish Literary Studies, Glasgow, July 2012.
Price: £9.95
ISBN 978-1-906841-09-6

Cover image: Melvin Creative

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“There are no grand themes, no presiding hierarchical values at the core of this latest collection of New Writing Scotland. But there are voices, a disparate horde of them firmly set in the Scottish tradition of writing intended to entertain, arrest and provoke ... Established names – Alasdair Gray, Agnes Owens, Ron Butlin, Stewart Conn, Neal Ascherson, Andrew Greig, Christopher Whyte, Lesley Glaister, Maoilios Caimbeul and Valerie Gillies – are steady presences. But the collection derives invaluable added strength from its democracy of openness, by accepting ‘all forms of writing’ from ‘writers resident in Scotland or Scots by birth, upbringing or inclination’, reminding readers that ‘Scotland is an attitude of mind’.”
The Scotsman

With this volume, we invite you to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of New Writing Scotland. For the last three decades, this annual publication has held a mirror to the modern Scottish literary renaissance, inviting and receiving contributions from writers either resident in Scotland or from those who are Scots by birth, residence or inclination. As the poet Maurice Lindsay once wrote, Scotland is an attitude of mind.
      This issue, we believe, is the strongest yet. We have tried to represent the range of contemporary Scottish writing, while maintaining one of New Writing Scotland’s finest traditions; some of our contributors will be familiar, others less so.
      But what do the submissions say about contemporary Scotland? For all the media attention it has received, and despite Alex’s prominent literary supporters, the independence referendum has not engaged Scotland’s writers on the ground. The old familiars of voice and place are still evident, but since 1983, when New Writing Scotland was first published, there have been significant changes.
      As well as containing a story by one of this issue’s editors, that first issue of New Writing Scotland had twenty-five contributors. Three were women. Gender is not only more equitably represented in our contemporary contributors, it is explored as a theme. Writers have also become more confident about expressing their individual sexuality. Scotland’s colonial past is interrogated as behoves any modern nation, and our desire for travel, argument and observations of our surroundings and ourselves are still evident.
      The fact that what were seen as contentious issues are now being explored or even taken for granted surely shows our growing confidence as a nation.
      As editors, we found ourselves wondering whether the important social, political and economic issues of our time are being sufficiently addressed, given that too many pieces submitted for this issue were safe. The Myself When Young School of Scottish Short Fiction is alive and well. We are still tackling a predictable range of subjects in a predictable way. There is space to renew an imaginative approach to all the thorny issues of language. Let’s raise our game: there’s everything to play for.
      Perhaps we should look to other media or find new ways of addressing the familiar. This issue publishes our first graphic short story. The theme may be familiar, but the approach is different. Whae’s like us? Artists, non-native writers of English, experimentalists, agitators, anarchists?
      Push the boat out, compañeros!

Carl MacDougall
Zoë Strachan

 

Contents

  • Jane Alexander . . . . . Time-Keeping in Public Places
  • Amy Anderson . . . . . Rhiannon
  • Lin Anderson . . . . . Saving Mr Ugwu
  • Neal Ascherson . . . . . Lugless Will
  • Rachelle Atalla . . . . . In the City
  • Jean Atkin . . . . . Mattie White
  • Colin Begg . . . . . The Sustainable Glasgow Initiative
  • Richard Bennett . . . . . Heron
  • Angela Blacklock-Brown . . . . . Home Economics
  • Jane Bonnyman . . . . . Her Sunglasses
  • Laura Brown . . . . . Far From Home
  • Ron Butlin . . . . . The Gondolas of South Bridge / Going Brueghel in Edinburgh / Absolution on the Edinburgh City Bypass / The Juggler of Greyfriars Kirkyard
  • Darci Bysouth . . . . . Purple Martin
  • Maoilios Caimbeul . . . . . Ùrnaigh eile
  • Lorna Callery . . . . . Prelude to 24-hour Alcohol Licensing / Pigeon With Warburtons
  • Jim Carruth . . . . . Being Human / old collie
  • Regi Claire . . . . . Flight
  • A. C. Clarke . . . . . Appearances / Magdalene
  • Stewart Conn . . . . . Interloper / In the Garden / Knowing the Code / On the Viaduct
  • Richard Cook . . . . . Lighthouse
  • Kiera Docherty . . . . . My Grandfather’s Chest
  • Sylvia Dow . . . . . A Little Touch of Cliff in the Evening
  • Ever Dundas . . . . . Pure
  • Jonathan Falla . . . . . The Fire of the Divine
  • Carol Farrelly . . . . . Light Moves Like Water
  • Vicki Feaver . . . . . Dies Irae
  • Cath Ferguson . . . . . An End to Stupit Questions
  • Jim Ferguson . . . . . Battered Auld Clock
  • Valerie Gillies . . . . . A Northern Parula Blown to the Hebrides
  • Lesley Glaister . . . . . Hero
  • Pippa Goldschmidt . . . . . Chile 1989
  • Alasdair Gray . . . . . Midgieburgers
  • Andrew Greig . . . . . Holly, 1969
  • Brian Hamill . . . . . After the Night
  • Patrick Holloway . . . . . A Nearly Poem About a Nearly Death
  • Alison Irvine . . . . . Nightcalls
  • Brian Johnstone . . . . . Tree Surgeons
  • Russell Jones . . . . . The Flat Opposite / Down on the Beach
  • Eleanor Livingstone . . . . . Gravity / Belasitsa, 1014
  • Alison Lumsden . . . . . Harvest
  • Pàdraig MacAoidh . . . . . An t-Adhlacair / Histoire de la folie à l’âge classique
  • Katy McAulay . . . . . Beating
  • Alistair McDonald . . . . . Cartoon
  • MacGillivray . . . . . If Ye Ken Stone
  • Lindsay Macgregor . . . . . Lugworming / Unsettled
  • Ross McGregor . . . . . Your Mushroom Soup
  • Crìsdean MacIlleBhàin . . . . . eadar ptuj is ljutomer
  • Fiona MacInnes . . . . . The Seal Shooter
  • Donal McLaughlin . . . . . Extracts from Arno Camenisch: Sez Ner
  • Sheila MacLeod . . . . . On Seeing a Young Woman Play a Theorbo
  • Derek Mcluckie . . . . . Park Bum
  • Hugh McMillan . . . . . Not Actually Being in Dumfries Last Weekend / A Gift, After the Event / Reading Billy Collins in the Bath
  • Neil mac Neil . . . . . White Sails of a Regatta
  • Griogair MacThòmais . . . . . A’ Chromag / But hay-e bamiyan
  • David Manderson . . . . . Under the Influence
  • R. A. Martens . . . . . Sympathy
  • metaphrog . . . . . The Photographs
  • Carey Morning . . . . . The Beautiful Shroud / Domestic Goddess
  • Theresa Muñoz . . . . . Favourite Grave
  • Mairi Murphy . . . . . Second City
  • Agnes Owens . . . . . The Inheritance
  • Natalie Poyser . . . . . Walking Alone in Princes Street Gardens
  • Wayne Price . . . . . Grasshoppers, June
  • Sheenagh Pugh . . . . . Him Again / Gardening / What He Saw
  • Allan Radcliffe . . . . . A Moment Alone
  • Maggie Ritchie . . . . . Bush Tales
  • Tracey S. Rosenberg . . . . . Exit Interview
  • Caroline von Schmalensee . . . . . Foundling
  • Tasca Shadix . . . . . The Moon on the Lake
  • Morelle Smith . . . . . Remembering Winter in Tirana
  • Sarah Smith . . . . . Agnes Meaning Pure
  • Raymond Soltysek . . . . . Spree Killer
  • Lynne Stanford . . . . . To Alex Salmond RE: Advice Sought Independent Living
  • Siobhan Staples . . . . . The Secret
  • Em Strang . . . . . Tracking Whooper Swans, October 2010
  • Don Taylor . . . . . Lily Has a Good Day
  • Sheila Templeton . . . . . For R. S. Thomas
  • David Underdown . . . . . Exhibits from the Surgeons’ Hall
  • Fiona Ritchie Walker . . . . . The Letting / Sobranie
  • Katie Webster . . . . . Anonymised
  • J. L. Williams . . . . . Colossus
  • Christie Williamson . . . . . The Only Way

Last updated 26 September 2012.