“He could see the furniture, the curtain across the bed, his mother and father, the decorations and through it all, vaguely, the buildings, the night. And hung there, shimmering, in that room he could never enter, the tinsel garland that would never tarnish.”
Alan Spence’s debut collection of short stories is a timeless portrait of Glasgow, and an acknowledged piece of classic Scottish writing. Introduced by Janice Galloway
A classic of short fiction, Alan Spence’s celebrated debut collection, first published in 1977, brings Glasgow to vibrant life and captures the spirit of the city as it teetered on the brink of change. From childhood Christmases in small tenement flats and games played on scrubland, to Orange Walks on bright Saturday afternoons and Thursday nights in dark, pulsing dancehalls, these interlinked stories vividly evoke the city and its inhabitants – young and old, Catholic and Protestant, hopeful and disillusioned.
“Poetic, affectionate and moving stories of Glasgow street life”
See more reviews
“A calm and necessary visionary”
“One of Scotland’s most accomplished literary talents”
“Beautifully observed … in each story there is a shining and unforced truthfulness”
“Brilliant … exquisitely and beautifully written stories”
Alan Spence is an award-winning poet, playwright, novelist and short story writer and is the author of six works of fiction, six collections of poetry and six plays. His awards include the Glenfiddich Award, The People’s Prize, Macallan Short Story Prize and McVitie Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year. He is Professor Emeritus in Creative Writing at the University of Aberdeen where he founded the annual WORD Festival in 1999 and was its Artistic Director for twelve years. With his wife he runs the Sri Chinmoy Meditation Centre in Edinburgh. In 2017 he was appointed Edinburgh Makar, the Poet Laureate for the City.