This comprehensive 704-page introduction to Scottish literature spans centuries of poetry, plays, novels and stories, from Robert Henryson and Elizabeth Melville to Irvine Welsh and Kathleen Jamie. Alan Riach, Professor of Scottish Literature at Glasgow University, balances a study of individual literary works and writers, the historical contexts that surround them and a personal commentary combining scholarly appraisal with contagious enthusiasm.
The book begins with two questions: 'What is Scottish literature?' and 'Why should you read it?' A chronological series of 80 chapters on authors and works forms the core of the book. These include neglected and established writers and familiar as well as almost unknown works, all given fresh revaluation for the 21st century. Incorporating his own experiences in studying these texts throughout, Riach imbues the work with an enthusiasm developed over a lifetime.
Scottish Literature: An Introduction will appeal to critics and scholars, but its conversational style and avoidance of jargon makes it easily accessible to any teacher, student or engaged reader, curious about Scottish literature and its value in the world.