Cast the first stone

Shirley Jackson’s subversive horror story The Lottery remains as pertinent today as when it first appeared seventy years ago, writes Sibylla Kalid

the anxious generation

BigTech: the C21st child catcher

Sue Palmer hails Jonathan Haidt’s timely look at the explosion in smart phone addiction amongst children


The glamour chase

Sifting through a new history of the Hollywood blacklists Kenneth Wright recalls a time of violence and treachery with unintended lessons for today’s film makers

a mirror made of rain

Long story short

Her captivating pictorial promotions champion small publishers and little known authors, and shine some light amidst contemporary gloom. Patrick Small meets writer Amy Long to discuss literary solidarity, genius cover design and why it had to be Taylor

Word up

Sally Huband lives in the Shetland Islands and is the author of Sea Bean.  A recipient of a Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, she holds a PhD in ecology and anthropology from the University of Edinburgh

The Best Non-fiction of 2023

From Rebecca Smith’s enthralling memoir to Michel Faber’s love letter to music, Alistair Braidwood sifts through the year’s most compelling titles

Sounds like a melody

Alistair Braidwood salutes Michel Faber’s ambitious take on how music affects us at the deepest level

Word up

Product talks to Scottish-Egyptian novelist Rachelle Atalla about dystopia, inspiration and the difference between writing for page and screen



Word up

Malachy Tallack is the author of four award winning books. His latest, Illuminated by Water, was shortlisted for the Richard Jefferies prize for nature writing in 2022

How I write

By Jean Findlay

ugly and proud

Ugly and Proud of It

The rise of tartan noir was a key part of Glasgow’s cultural revival. But Scottish crime writing betrays a fatal smugness, says Kenneth Wright

Word up

Emma Brankin is a writer and educator from Glasgow. Her new collection of short stories, Attention Seekers, has just been published

World Book Trip

Which one novel would you recommend to represent your country’s literature? The next stop on our tour is Turkey, where Ayla Douglas champions Sabahattin Ali’s modern classic Madonna in a Fur Coat

white girls

Every mouth needs filling

Lilly Markaki on why Hilton Als’s White Girls still matters

homelands the history of a friendship

Books of the year

Alistair Braidwood on the finest non-fiction books of 2022

Neneh Cherry

Do the dive every time we dance

Jude Rogers’ remarkable book captures the unique power of music to heal and inspire, writes Alistair Braidwood

Drunk on cinema

Alistair Braidwood enjoys getting lost in Seacrest, the fictional town of scheming cineastes in Kirsti Wishart’s latest book The Projectionist


Word up

Writer Jenni Fagan discusses her new book Hex, witchcraft and the problem with magical realism

Once upon a time

Alistair Braidwood admires a fresh look at how Simple Minds created their early innovations

Aces High Part 2

In the second instalment of our interview, author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímíde answers readers’ questions about institutional racism, structuring, sobriety and solitude

Aces High - Faridah Àbíké-Íyímíde

Aces High

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímíde wrote one of the standout books of 2021. She fields readers’ questions on craft, dyslexia, diversity and how to find your confidence as a writer

Word up

Author Catherine Simpson’s remarkable work ranges across short stories, fiction and memoir. She discusses Alan Bennett, grabbing writing  time and why details matter

Word up

The Broken Pane, Charlie Roy’s harrowing but uplifting debut examines loss, tragedy and our relationship with the past. Here she discusses creative process and how she grew from wistful scribbler to published author

Shine like stars

Bobby Gillespie’s sharp memoir vividly recounts the rise of a driven musical obsessive, writes Alistair Braidwood

Blurred lines

Graeme Macrae Burnet’s latest multi-layered mystery combines great wit and invention, writes Alistair Braidwood

Anne leigh parrish

Author Interview

A uniquely talented writer of short stories, novels and poetry, Anne Leigh Parrish opens up about owls, Monet and the art of precision

Street fighting man

Andrei Semenev enjoys an expansive study of Russia’s courageous and complex opposition leader

Enjoy this trip

From Rapper’s Delight to Fight The Power, Dylan Jones salvages the maligned 1980s in ten tracks, writes Alistair Braidwood

True colours

The inspiring story of Preston’s rebirth highlights some telling lessons and limits of localism, writes James Foley

Taming the the Selfish Giant

It’s time to protect books and those who create them, writes Jean Findlay

How I write

By puppeteer and children’s author Tania Czajka

Cocaine for the kids

Katherine Hill’s timely book offers parents practical advice to help children negotiate the digital world, writes Alex Borthwick

History Maker

Alistair Braidwood who worked as a secretary for Alasdair Gray, and was an editor on ‘Of Me & Others’, pays tribute to a brilliant, kind and peerless polymath

Books of 2019

Alan McCredie on a truly timeless classic

Books of 2019

Petra Reid on a radical ’60s classic still relevant today

Amy Jardine

How I write

By Amy Jardine


Hope and despair

The highly lauded Nell Zink is one of many US writers considering the challenges of activism today, but her work lacks one vital element, writes Sibylla Kalid

9 lessons on brexit

Idiot Wind

A former UK ambassador to the EU lays out the clusterfuck that follows a retreat from reality, writes Ronnie McCluskey

You are the product

Shoshana Zuboff’s treatise “Surveillance Capitalism” warns how big data commodifies us all, writes Nik Williams

World book trip

Which novel would you recommend to someone who had never read a word written in your country? The first stop on our tour is Scotland, where Alan Warner highlights James Kelman’s astonishing Kieron Smith, boy

Altered image

Sceptical of the form, Sara Lally is won over by three of 2018’s most intriguing graphic novels


sal video

Lost girls

Author Mick Kitson tells Sibylla Archdale Khalid how he conjured Sal, one of the most compelling literary characters of 2018

A ripple from the storm

Brilliant and uncompromising, Doris Lessing inspired Amy Jardine to conquer fear, start writing and live a fuller life

Orbitor, Cartarescu

World Book Trip

If you could only recommend one novel from your country, which would it be? Ana Iliescu salutes Mircea Cartarescu’s Orbitor, a triumph of Romanian literature

Still waters

Daisy Johnson talks to Naomi Richards about the power of myths, metamorphis and the art of writing her new novel.

Mister Malcontent

Bill Hicks has been derided as an anti-corporate fanatic, UFO devotee and gun fetishist. But what he would really have hated is being described as the lost saviour of stand-up, writes Allan Brown

She Punks

Sam Knee talks to Neil Cooper about Untypical Girls, his new book about pioneering all-female bands from post punk to riot grrrl

Book of Joan

Silent Spring

Set in a near-future Earth devastated by global warming, The Book of Joan is a rare attempt to deal with a colossal issue. Sybilla Archdale Kalid on why climate change can’t be contained in modern literature

History repeats

Did the former Stoke MP lift sections of a long ago OU book for his 2004 historical tome? One of the original authors Chris Harvie finds it oddly familiar

High Times

The creators of Britain’s first counter cultural paper talk to Neil Cooper about their new visual catalogue of the ’60s radical underground press

Passion play

Author Malcolm Devlin discusses fairy tales, genre-jumping and placating restless stories with Naomi Richards

Speed of life

Alistair Braidwood is charmed by a book of recollections from Bowie fans and collaborators

Cabinet of wonders

 A spellbinding collection of short stories is Naomi Richards’ Book of the Year

Everything you know is wrong

As her new collection of short stories is launched, Meaghan Delahunt talks to Naomi Richards about the art of writing

No one is safe

Lilly Markaki on Agamben’s timely warnings about state power and perpetual war

Seize the day

Robin McAlpine’s latest book urges Scottish independence campaigners to grab the initiative and win the big arguments, writes Paddy Bort

Kill the poor

A beginners’ guide to Ron Butlin’s fiction. By Alistair Braidwood

Soul train

Stuart Cosgrove’s latest is an eloquent mix of social history and musical retrospective, writes Alistair Braidwood

Start making sense

Common Weal’s Book of Ideas offers a wealth of inspiration for Holyrood policy making, writes Paddy Bort

Sister of mine

Kirstin Innes discusses Fishnet, its follow-up and the art of writing with Naomi Richards

Guns and roses

Andrea Needham’s lucid book celebrates an audacious direct action against the arms trade, writes Paul Rogers

Royal Babylon

Heathcote Williams has a fearsome back catalogue spanning five decades as an activist, writer and poet. His latest works are typically acute, essential polemics, writes Neil Cooper

How soon is now?

Two very different books on Scotland’s post-indyref options are united by a glaring omission, says Paddy Bort

The boy done good

As Billy Bragg releases a new book of lyrics Alistair Braidwood assesses the career of Britain’s finest political songwriter

Other voices, other rooms: part one

In the first of a series of interviews with contemporary American writers, Lisa Locascio meets Francine Prose

Mark Ellen

The Zelig of pop

Alistair Braidwood enjoys exquisite storytelling from a self-effacing writer who covered every major music event of the last 40 years

When we ruled the school

Alistair Braidwood is charmed by Stuart David’s typically-understated memoir of the early days of Belle and Sebastian

Tracks of my tears

Simon Frith salutes a brilliant piece of music writing which returns the song to centre stage

Games without frontiers

Everyone looking for a lasting peace in Ukraine should read Andrew Wilson’s incisive book, writes Stephen White.

portrait of judith Freeman 1986

Other voices, other rooms: part 2

Part 2: Lisa Locascio talks to author Judith Freeman about writing, madness and the creative spark.