D J-Taylor

Nowhere to go but down

I am just old enough to remember the terrific fuss that was made about the first Scots literary renaissance when it kicked into gear in the early 1980s. Inaugurated by Alasdair Gray’s Lanark (1981), whipped up into a movement by Gray, Agnes Owens and James Kelman’s Lean Tales (1985), and sent on a downward spiral by the latter’s Booker-winning How Late It Was How Late (1994), its distinguishing features were Glasgie patois, the conviction that everything was Mrs Thatcher’s fault, and a colossal amount of swearing.

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