My lifelong fascination with the life and work of James Leslie Mitchell/Lewis Grassic Gibbon has carried me through two English degrees, four decades of academic research, five books, multiple articles and media appearances and the directorship of the Grassic Gibbon Centre. This culminated in the award in 2017 of Honorary Fellowship of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies and appointment in 2018 as joint administrator of the Mitchell Literary Estate.
I’m now bringing this fixation to fruition with the first full critical biography of Mitchell/Gibbon, authorised by his family. I’ll jump at any chance to share my passion for Scotland’s Favourite Author with any congenial gathering, and my editorship of the Penguin Classics Sunset Song in 2007 coupled with three decades’ experience as Head of English and SQA marker and examiner places me in a unique position to provide enrichment for Higher English students. Under the aegis of the Grassic Gibbon Centre I’ve devised and delivered a comprehensive educational programme, including bespoke teaching materials, for teachers and students doing Sunset Song as a specified Scottish Text at Higher English, whilst contemplating the bigger question as to why Grassic Gibbon is a key writer for these, or any other, times.