The Scottish story has its roots in an oral tradition where stories were told to entertain. It is a tradition that has not diminished over the years and indeed there is today a body of young writers in the forefront of contemporary literature whose narrative voice is as compelling as that of their illustrious predecessors. The Devil and the Giro includes stories from all the major Scottish writers, both the famous and the unsung - James Hogg, R L Stevenson, George MacDonald Fraser, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sir Walter Scott, Hugh MacDiarmid, Muriel Spark, James Kelman and Alasdair Gray are but a few of the fifty contributors. The anthology encompasses many examples of the themes in which Scottish writers have always excelled, most notably in that archetypal twinning of opposites where the ordinary meets the fantastic, man encounters the devil, or the real and the supernatural converge. This is the stuff of the ancient storytellers and the tradition has persisted to this day where the hard reality of urban existence still involves coming to terms with life and death.
Carl MacDougall has written for theatre, radio and television in addition to being a short story writer himself. His first novel, Stone over Water was preceded by a collection of short stories, Elvis is Dead, published to great acclaim in 1986. He has had many posts as writer-in-residence both in England and Scotland, and recently wrote and presented the BBC's Writing Scotland series.