Monday, April 19, 2010

Modern Scottish Writers?

I investigated the Scottish Literature Challenge, initiated at Wuthering Expectations. I was mystified when I first heard about it at Rebecca Reads. Thank heavens, Katrina, the blogger of Pining for the West, who lives on the east coast of Scotland, directed me to Wuthering Expectations for more information.

Although the challenge requires a read published before 1914, I'm more interested in the work of 20th-century Scottish writers, and, perhaps most interested in Scottish novelists publishing after 1990. This gives me a quest to sink my teeth into. I suspect that I've assumed that many Scottish writers are "British" writers, and I will say, here and now, that...Please let me rephrase this mess. I would like to put forth a theory that modern writers (and, of course, those from earlier eras), who are native Scots have a sensibility or a unique identity or characteristics that are distinct from English writers. I would like to pursue this theme as my own Scottish Literature Challenge. Am I crazy or am I on to something? I will confess that my ancestors came from England, Ireland, and Scotland, in that order proportionally, which may be partially motivating me. In any case, I hope to learn much more than I know now. That should not be a difficult goal.

Ann Cleeves sets her novels in Scotland but is English. I read her Raven Black and, more than the mystery, I luxuriated in the Scottish setting--moody with the kind of rough weather I love.


  1. Thank-you for the mention. I had a look on Wuthering Expectations last night, thinking I would sign up. However, looking at all the comments - I got the fright of my life. Everyone is so well read in ancient Scottish literature. Your theory is absolutely correct. Modern Scottish writers and older ones too are very different from English ones - and for me it's usually easy to spot them, even if they are brought up elsewhere. I love the idea of your Scottish Literature Challenge.

  2. Katrina, thank you for your thoughts about the Scottish challenge. I'm going to see where it takes me and I'm going to follow your blog as well.