Carl MacDougall and Zoe Strachan (eds) - New Writing Scotland 31: Black Middens (3 stars)

A diverse collection of writing suggesting there is more to Scottish writing than Scottish identity

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Carl MacDougall and Zoe Strachan (eds) - New Writing Scotland 31: Black Middens

(Association for Scottish Literary Studies)

As ever, the latest edition of New Writing Scotland presents a diverse collection of writing produced in and about Scotland. Part of the joy with this series is that entries are anonymous, guaranteeing a fighting chance for all writers, and giving readers the pleasure of discovering new work by established authors alongside that of new literary talent.

Running to over 300 pages, Carl MacDougall and Zoë Strachan have selected a good mixture of prose and poetry, written in all the languages of Scotland. Highlights include Caitlynn Cummings’ ‘Taste Buds’, a moving tale of the relationship between a father and daughter, told through the meals which chart it, and Colette Paul’s ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, an engaging night spent with the office loser.

There is plenty for everyone here, covering a wide range of themes, and happily proving that our authors aren’t feeling restricted to writing about referendums and political uncertainty. These issues haven’t been avoided, but the breadth of content in Black Middens suggests that there is more to Scottish writing than Scottish identity.

New Writing Scotland Launch

Celebrate the publication of 'Songs of Other Places', the latest volume of New Writing Scotland. It's edited by Gerry Cambridge and Zoë Strachan and features contributions from Claire Askew, Ron Butlin, Alison Flett, Brian Johnstone and others.

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