Can you believe we are now halfway through our twenty-fifth anniversary year here at Birlinn with this sixth episode of our podcast The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Scottish Literature? Kristian and I are very much enjoying our travels along the highways and byways of Scottish writing, and we hope you are too. This episode sees us journeying to fantastical worlds, and in particular, taking a look at Naomi Mitchison’s childrens’ fable Travel Light.
Naomi Mitchison was really a force of nature in writing – and in public life – throughout the twentieth century, so it was hard to decide which book of hers to focus on! She’s written classic historical novels, fantastic poetry, powerful plays, fascinating memoir and genre-defying science fiction, as well as very curious children’s tales. And Travel Light is definitely a very curious beast indeed being an intriguing coming-of-age story with a strong dash of Norse legend and Eastern fairy tale.
We stay with the fantastical in an interview with the brilliant Joan Lennon, who has now written two excellent books for us on our BC Books imprint. Her latest novel, Walking Mountain, is set far, far into the future and begins with the end of the world. If you want to find out what happens after that, you’ll just have to listen to the podcast, and buy the book. Joan also treats us with a great reading of that amazing opening.
So, if you want a little break from the real world, have a listen to the podcast. We’ll get your imagination racing!
Have a look on our website at some similar titles:
Folk Tales of Scotland
You can listen to the podcast, and catch up on all previous episodes, on iTunes, or listen below on SoundCloud:
Kristian and I are carrying on our travels along the highways and byways of Scottish literature with the fifth episode of our podcast, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Scottish Literature, our digital escapade that’s part of Birlinn’s twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations. This episode is dedicated to one of Scotland’s most prolific and celebrated authors, Iain Crichton Smith, and in particular, his classic novel, Consider the Lilies.
A lot of us are probably more familiar with his poems and short stories – mainstays of the Scottish curriculum – and yet Crichton Smith is also a very fine novelist indeed. Consider the Lilies is regarded as one of his best, and it is a beautiful and finely drawn portrait of a Highland widow having to deal with the consequences of the Clearances, still an emotive and controversial subject today.
We stay with the Highland Clearances with an interview with one of Scotland’s premier historians, James Hunter. His many books have shone a much-needed light on Highland life through the ages, and his most recent, and award-winning, book Set Adrift Upon the World is a fantastic exploration of the Sutherland Clearances. It’s shocking, thorough, and necessary reading. We round things off with the marvellous Kevin MacNeil performing some of Iain Crichton Smith’s poetry.
So, if you want to introduce yourself to two fantastic writers and a hugely important subject, have a listen. We hope you enjoy it!
You can listen to episode 5 below on SoundCloud, and on iTunes:
Get your eBook of Consider the Lilies here. Get your copy of Set Adrift Upon the Word here and find out about all of James Hunters books here.