These two novellas - on related themes but very different in approach and narrative voice - are bound back to back or 'heelstergowdie', the Scots for 'back to front' or 'head over heels'. Loon, by Sheena Blackhall, tells the story of Donnie Paterson and how his troubled life is turned around by the discovery of his missing grandfather in a retirement home and a holiday in the Highlands where he hears a strange story that becomes the key to solving his problems. In Gilbert McGlinchy, by Hamish MacDonald, the eponymous narrator has the weight of the world's woes on his shoulders so sets out to make his drab Clydebank surroundings exotic by embarking on a story-telling journey - the rationale for which only slowly unfolds. Presented in a single volume, these two novellas meet, quite literally, halfway.
Year of Publication
One volume, two novellas! Modern Scots stories with related themes but very different approaches to the narrative. Katrina Lucas
SHEENA BLACKHALL is a prize-winning poet and fiction writer and is the author of many collections of short stories and poems written in Doric or North-East Scots. She is Creative Writing Fellow at Aberdeen University's Elphinstone Institute. She has a short story in Pure Ghosters, published by Itchy Coo, and her books include The Singing Bird, Stagwyse (Selected Poems) and Hielanman's Sporran. HAMISH MACDONALD is a playwright, poet, actor and novelist. He lives in Inverness but hails originally from Clydebank. His fiction includes the novel The Gravy Star and a short story in Pure Ghosters, and his work for radio includes the award-winning series The Captain's Collection, while he has also written and produced four stage plays.