Take a chance on me: 5 undiscovered Scottish writers

Take a chance on me, Abba enticed, and that’s what we’re asking you to do. Bestseller lists area all very nice, but here are five writers who might have slipped through your literary net. And just to make it even more attractive than Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn and Anni-Frid, there is 20% off all the books and, as ever, free p&p in the UK. 

Kevin MacNeil

A Method Actor's Guide to Jekyll and Hyde by Kevin MacNeill

Kevin MacNeil is a poet, novelist, aphorist, cyclist and lyricist who took on one of the most famous stories of all time with his second novel, A Method Actor’s Guide to Jekyll and Hyde. It is a fabulous riff on RLS’s classic tale and ‘a funny, irreverent and moving 21st-century look at human nature, and an intriguing rewiring of a classic’ according to The Herald. We agree.

Agnes Owens

Agnes OwensNow, if someone said ‘her black humour and piercing observation bear comparison with the work of Muriel Spark’ (Guardian) you’d expect the writer to be a household name and on every literary department’s reading list. Right? Agnes Owens is one of Britain’s most under-rated writers, please read her then start spreading the word. She deserves to be much, much more widely known.

James Kelman

jamesKelmanJames Kelman’s work has been called ‘masterly’ (Alasdair Gray), ‘inaccessible’ (Booker Judge), ‘superbly crafted and a joy to read’ (Bernard MacLaverty) and the man himself an ‘illiterate savage’ (Simon Jenkins). We think he is one of the greatest writers and a true maverick. Read him and make up your own mind.

Robin Jenkins

RobinJenkinsIf quiet brilliance is more your thing please meet Robin Jenkins. A conscientious objector during WWII, he taught in Afghanistan and Malaysia before retiring to write full-time in 1970. Full of longing for honour and redemption his work, according to the Guardian, is ‘worthy of the greatest respect throughout the English-language world’. Nail. Head.

Norman Maclean

NormanMacLeanAnd finally, something completely different. Norman Maclean is an award-winning piper and Gaelic singer whose television show in the 1970s stopped weddings so people could tune in. He was Brigitte Bardot’s personal bagpipe player, a hero of Billy Connolly and should be a comedy legend. His painfully honest autobiography is countered by three hilarious novellas; a true picture of the man.



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