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Classic Fiction, Fiction, Fiction
Publication Date
30 June 2007
Paperback (also available as an eBook)
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited


by Robin Jenkins - Find out more about the author


eBook also available from the iBookstore

‘His persistent creativity for a half-century makes this Scottish writer worthy of the greatest respect throughout the English-language world.’ – Paul Binding, Guardian

‘Let me alert everyone to the best-kept secret in modern British literature ... if you are interested in books that are humane and wise, not slick and cynical; then treat yourself this year to some Robin Jenkins’ – Andrew Marr

‘Many people can produce a novel, but very few are authentic writers whose sentences and paragraphs give intrinsic pleasure. Jenkins is one of them’ – J. B. Pick ‘Jenkins [is] a remarkable writer whose gentlest touch induces the greatest of pleasures’ – The Times

Robin Jenkins returned to the Far East in the 1950s for Leila, a tender love story involving a Scottish teacher, Andrew Sandilands, and Leila, the exotically beautiful daughter of a local politician. Leila is, like her father, implicated in the revolutionary tremors shaking the small country and the lovers are soon torn between the small-minded mores of the expatriate community and Leila’s determined efforts to play a role in her country’s future. The masked oppression of the regime forms the backdrop to a novel where personal dramas collide with the legacies of colonialism.

John Robin Jenkins was born in 1912, one of four children, in the village of Flemington, near Cambuslang. He studied English at the University of Glasgow. When World War II broke out, he registered as a conscientious objector and was directed to work for the Forestry Commission; he used this experience in the acclaimed novel, The Cone Gatherers. In 1957, he moved abroad to work in Spain, Afghanistan and Malaysia. In 1968, he settled in Dunoon where he remained for the rest of his life. In 2002 he received the Saltire Society’s Award for Lifetime Achievement. He died in 2005.

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