Author details

Allan Cameron


Allan Cameron was born in 1952 and was brought up in Nigeria and East Pakistan (later Bangladesh). He left school at sixteen and started his education. He worked at sea and at the age of twenty moved to Italy, where he lived for many years. The trades he has been Jack of and not mastered include postman, labourer, factory worker, forwarding clerak, hydrographic surveyor and university lecturer. He now lives in Glasgow.

Luath Press published his two novels, The Golden Menagerie (2004), a modern reworking of Apuleius' The Golden Ass, that challenges the ideas and morality of that Latin author, partly his ideas have returned: a cult of success, a lack of compassion, and an obsession with the projection of the self on society, and The Berlusconi Bonus (2005), a political satire of the ideas of the neocons in general and Fukuyama in particular. The second novel has been published in Italian.

He has published a book on language, In Praise of the Garrulous (2008), a collection of essays, Things Written Randomly in Doubt, and two collections of poetry, Presbyopia (2009) and A Barrel of Dried Leaves (2016), and two collections of short stories, Can the Gods Cry? (2011) and On the Heroism of Mortals (2012).

He is also the translator of twenty-four books from Italian into English, including such writers as Norberto Bobbio, Romano Prodi, Eric Hobsbawm and Alessandro Barbero, and he has published articles in Italian newspapers and political magazines.

About writer's work

Allan Cameron has given talks on language, the history of writing and printing, and the importance of translation on many occasions, and more recently a "sceptic's defence of religion". He is interested in language and how it affects our behaviour, and how our behaviour affects language. His publishing activities include the publication of translated literary novels (from Italy, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), and there are plans to go further afield. He is very happy to talk about how this sector works and how translation contributes to other national literatures.


Websites featuring the author

Vegabond Voices

Current events and projects

He is currently working on a third novel, Cinico. Travels with a Good Professor at the Time of the Scottish Referendum, which claims to be the account of a cynical Italian journalist working in Scotland in 2014.


Other work

Editor and director of Vagabond Voices, a publishing house based in Glasgow.


Local authority where they are based

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles)

Local authorities where they can work

East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Glasgow, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire

Age groups


LL funded


BRAW network


Author type




Books written

Book Cover

A Barrel of Dried Leaves

Author(s): Allan Cameron
A barrel not of laughs but of contortions, confusions and the occasional dry chortle – and of metre adorned with irregular, sometimes internal rhymes, assonances, alliterations, awkwardnesses and othe

On the Heroism of Mortals

Author(s): Allan Cameron
This is a collection of eleven short stories whose common theme is the heroism of our flawed lives.

Things Written Randomly in Doubt

Author(s): Allan Cameron
A work in three parts, Things Written starts with aphorisms in "How Not to Be a Ruminant", shifts to essays in "Weights and Counterweights", and concludes with poetry in "By t

Can the Gods Cry?

Author(s): Allan Cameron
With one exception, these short stories were written for this collection, and they tentatively look at different themes such as compassion, passivity and their opposites, which are not, of course, ori


Author(s): Allan Cameron
This poetry is unfashionably but unashamedly political and philosophical.

In Praise of the Garrulous

Author(s): Allan Cameron
This is a book about language and above all about the value and essentiality of language in our lives.

The Berlusconi Bonus

Author(s): Allan Cameron
With a Berlusconi bonus, you pay no tax, you can bribe whoever you wish, your right to fraudulent business practice goes without saying, you can murder almost with impunity, you can even rape women an

The Golden Menagerie

Author(s): Allan Cameron
From Lucian Heatherington-Jones, an adolscent from Croydon, his meeting with a mirth-seeking sect plunges him into a series of nightmarish metamorphoses from which he can only be saved by the wise and