There was recently, in the serious and excellent Saturday Guardian review, a short piece on Oor Wullie, a small boy whose cartoon adventures divert the readers of the Sunday Post in Scotland. It was written by Ian Jack, distinguished editor of Granta, the influential literary magazine. The article mentioned a number of things that touched dear places for a Scot, and mentioned too that Mr Jack hadn't a recipe for black bun, a dense cake served at Hogmanay. Along with, it turned out, very many, others, I wrote to him. There is nothing so homesick as a Scot, and nothing, I suspect, as vigilant and quick to take exception.
Andrew O'Hagan, in a much bigger way, will be taking on not only the special interest group who rose to Mr Jack's baking needs, for he has touched in his terrifying new novel on other fairylands than our perfected Scotland, soaked in its destructive sugars.