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Clap Hands for the Singing Molecatcher

Autobiography & Biography, Biography, Birlinn Origin, History, Local History
Publication Date
25 July 2019
Paperback (also available as an eBook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
Age Range
20th Century

Clap Hands for the Singing Molecatcher

Scenes from a Scottish Childhood
by Roderick Grant - Find out more about the author


eBook also available from the iBookstore

‘Absolutely fascinating . . . beautifully written’ – BBC

‘I was captivated . . . Grant’s evocative style, with humour never far away, recalls H.E. Bates and the best of his country writing’ – Sue Baker

‘A detailed, loving and always interesting recollection of an adventurous Scottish childhood, refreshingly honest about the dawn of sexual awareness’ – Angus MacVicar

’Beg, borrow or buy a copy today, I promise that you will be entranced’ – Nairnshire Telegraph

'Evocative and lively' – Scots Magazine

’Vividly paints the sights, smells, events and characters of rural Scotland in such a comedic way that it is hard not to laugh out loud’ – Press & Journal

Clap Hands for the Singing Molecatcher is both hilarious and deeply moving in its splendid account of the writer’s childhood on a remote country estate in Morayshire in the 1940s and 1950s; a place where isolated hill farms, limitless moorland and the rock-strewn banks of wild, tumbling rivers became the backdrop for a variety of adventures and experiences. Laughter, tragedy and dramatic incident thread their way through the life of a growing boy and the lives of the people he observes.

Roderick Grant’s book is not merely one of nostalgic recall. It is a richly evocative memoir of a time and place when horses still drew ploughs and children walked seven miles or more each day to reach their school; and where shepherd and gamekeeper, farmer and labourer, forester, railway worker, teacher, laird and minister, and their families, were all part of a community, close-knit in its isolation from the changing post-war world.

Roderick Grant was born in Forres, Morayshire, in 1941, where he attended the local academy. He has worked as a forestry worker, a journalist, a newspaper editor, a television presenter, a radio broadcaster, a bookshop manager and a postman. He has also published writing in both Britain and the USA, including short stories and numerous books such as A Private Vendetta, The Clutch of Caution and Strathalder: A Highland Estate (available from Birlinn Autumn 2007).

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