This selection of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's writing brings together old favourites and new material for the first time. There are all his lively contributions to Scottish Scene (co-written by Hugh MacDiarmid) including the unforgettable lilt and flow of his short stories 'Smeddum', 'Clay', 'Greendenn', 'Sim' and 'Forsaken'. The anthology ends with the full text of his last novel, The Speak of the Mearns, unpublished in his lifetime. Valentina Bold has also included a collection of poems, 'Songs of Limbo', taken from typescripts in the National Library of Scotland, and a selection of Grassic Gibbon's articles and short fiction, with work done for The Cornhill Magazine along with book reviews and essays on Diffusionism, ancient American civilization and selected studies from his book on the lives of explorers, Nine Against the Unknown. A Lewis Grassic Gibbon Anthology provides an indispensable supplement to Canongate's edition of A Scots Quair, and it also offers further insight into the wide-ranging interests and the lyrical, historical and political writing of the greatest and best-loved Scottish novelist of the early twentieth century.
James Leslie Mitchell, 'Lewis Grassic Gibbon' (1901-35), was born and brought up in the rich farming land of Scotland's North-East coast. After a brief journalistic career, he joined the Royal Army Service Corps in 1919, serving in Persia, India and Egypt before he spent six years as a clerk in the RAF. He married Rebecca Middleton in 1925, and became a full-time writer in 1929. He was a prolific writer of novels, short stories and essays and had seventeen full length books published before his untimely death at the age of thirty-four. He adopted his maternal grandmother's name for his Scottish work including A Scots Quair: Sunset Song, Cloud Howe and Grey Granite. An unfinished novel, The Speak of the Mearns, was published posthumously in 1982.
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