Contemporary Fiction

Re-Reading Waterland

How does our understanding of a novel shift over time?I first read Graham Swift’s Waterland as a university fresher. Twenty-five years later, I’ve recently re-read the novel as I prepare to teach it to a group of A level students. Reading the novel afresh has been an interesting exercise in how we read and how…

A Scottish ‘Ulysses’?

Lanark by Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray’s novel ‘Lanark’ is an astonishing achievement, and well worth the huge time investment to read it… This will be a long post, but then Alasdair Gray’s Lanark is, like James Joyce’s Ulysses, a very long and exceptionally complex novel. But it’s worth the effort. Gray famously took thirty years to write Lanark; it took me almost as many to…