When in Scotland, read Scottish.   But where to start if you know nothing about contemporary Scottish literature beyond the global megastars, Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith?

A few years ago  I decided it was time to get better acquainted with the contemporary scene and I wanted to start with the best.  So I began to explore the  Saltire Book Awards: The Scottish Book of the Year and the Scottish First Book of the Year.  They are not genre specific so if a work of fiction wins this award, it must be good – and as far as awards go, I don’t hear much about them on other blogs.  In 5 out of 6 Saltire Book of the Year winners I’ve read to date, I’d agree with that statement:  Lanark by Alasdair Gray, Clara by Janice Galloway, Joseph Knight by James Robertson, In Another Light by Andrew Greig and Case Histories by Kate Atkinson.  A L Kennedy’s Day left me dazed and confused, but given that Kennedy has since filled her trophy cabinet with accolades for this one book alone, I have to concede that I’m the one at fault.  Regardless I’m working my way through the backcatalogues and keeping up to date with the new releases of all 6 authors.

I realise that I haven’t read a single Scottish First Book of the Year winner.  I must rectify that.    

Given my growing penchant for non-fiction, I may try some of the non-fiction winners.