Silicon Glen, Scotland > Scottish FAQ > Literature and Poetry
View the Silicon Glen Blog. Contact Us about advertising rates.

Primary literary figures

Want to move jobs?. New free social marketing tool for job seekers
Sign up now at

Further information
Gateway to Scottish authors

Alphabetic order by surname

Iain Banks (The Crow Road, The Wasp Factory, etc)

Boswell and Johnson's (tour to the Western Isles)

George Douglas Brown (The house with the green shutters)

John Buchan (The thirty nine steps)

Robert Burns (details in [5.2])

William Dunbar

Janice Galloway (The trick is to keep breathing)

Lewis Grassic Gibbon (Sunset Song, see [5.13]) (voted Scotland's best novel by Herald readers Oct 98 and
the Best Scottish Book of All Time. 28/Aug/05 at the
Edinburgh International Book Festival.)

Alasdair Gray (Lanark)

Neil Gunn (particularly recommended is Highland River/The Silver Darlings)

George Campbell Hay

Hamish Henderson (Alias MacAlias - his autobiography and "The Armstrong nose" - Hamish's collected letters)

James Hogg (Confessions of a Justified Sinner)

Robin Jenkins (The cone gatherers)

Norman MacCaig (Collected poems)

Hugh MacDiarmid (especially "A drunk man looks at the thistle")

Sorley Maclean (From Wood to Ridge)
One of the greatest Gaelic poets of all time. Book is bilingual; author's own translations. Astoundingly powerful stuff. ISBN 0 09 988720 7
(published by Vintage, London)

James McPherson ('Ossian')

Neil Munro (The new road)

J. K. Rowling (award winning and best selling author of the "Harry Potter" series.)

Sir Walter Scott (The Heart of Midlothian, Old Mortality, Waverley - see [5.5])

Iain Crighton Smith (in Gaelic: Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn) (Consider the lillies)

Muriel Spark (The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie)

Robert Louis Stevenson (Kidnapped, Weir of Hermiston, Treasure Island, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde)

Jeff Torrington (Swing hammer swing)

Nigel Tranter ("The Story of Scotland")

Alan Warner (Morvern Callar)

Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting)

There's a very strong argument which says the best writing in English right now is from Scotland. 'Trainspotting' is about Edinburgh, just as much as 'Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner'. There's a heap of authors to recommend: Jeff Torrington, James Kelman, Robin Jenkins, Alistair Gray, William McIlvanney - these are some I like and frankly, I can't think of any current author whom I would rather read.

The Enlightenment

Any writings by David Hume and Adam Smith from the age of the
Scottish Enlightenment are recommended.

For those interested in the Scottish Enlightenment and it's enormous contribution to human understanding, I can thoroughly recommend a book by Alexander Broadie. It's published by Canongate Edinburgh, ISBN 0 86241 738 4 price 10.99. It is an excellent anthology for those wishing to get a good grasp of the contribution made to the age of reason by Scots. My only rebuke is the missing scientific contributions which the editor admitted were entirely due to his personal inadequacies on matters scientific. However, the philosophical content is worth the money alone.

Scottish FAQ > FAQ Contents > Literature and Poetry > Primary literary figures > Top

Q-HTML V3.4 by Craig Cockburn created this page on 19-Jun-2012 at 08:06:25