I missed out on doing Bookshelf Travelling in Insane Times which is hosted by Judith@ Reader in the Wilderness last week, I had every intention of doing it at some point during the week and then found myself at the next Friday with it still undone, a bit like me!
It’s a very weird thing but despite the lockdown and obviously being nowhere at all apart from house and garden and a walk for the Guardian every morning, I seem to have less and less time for doing stuff. How did I fit in visits to interesting places before the lockdown? It’s a mystery.
Anyway, I’m so behind with things I’m using the same shelves as last time and highlighting just three books, still Scottish ones obviously as they’re from some of our Scottish book shelves.
Trumpet by Jackie Kay was published in 1998. The blurb says – Joss Moody was a celebrated trumpeter, he has just died and the jazz world is in mourning. But in death Joss can no longer guard the secret he kept all his life, and Colman his adoring adopted son, must confront the truth: the man whom he believed to be his father was in fact a woman.
Jacky Kay was herself adopted and is better known as a poet nowadays. Trumpet was her first novel and it won the Guardian fiction prize, she is the third modern Makar. (Scottish poet laureate) You can read about her here. I find it hilarious that she says that Scottish people still ask her where she is from – as if having dark skin means they must mean which country she is from. I’m always asking other people with Scottish accents where they are from and other Scottish people ask ME where I am from. We just mean – which part of Scotland (town) do you come from!
Joseph Knight by James Robertson was first published in 2003. This is historical fiction which is I believe based on fact.
After the Battle of Culloden young Sir John Wedderburn is exiled to Jamaica where he makes a fortune as a sugar planter. Returning home to Scotland to marry and re-establish his family name , he brings with him a black slave, one of the first in Scotland. But slavery was illegal in Scotland and there’s a big court case to prove that slave laws of Jamaica do not apply in Scotland.
This story is based on a true situation, but this tale is full of enslavement – of the colliers, spinners, women and even the imperialists – it sounds interesting.
Glitter of Mica by Jessie Kesson was first published in 1963 and it’s Kesson’s second book. It’s an autobiographical novel and the setting is rural Aberdeenshire. Helen Riddel is the daughter of the head dairyman at Darklands farm. She has just returned from university where the world has been opened up to her, will she cut off the ties to her family and opt for a new life away from the narrowness of her previous rural existence?
As ever I hope to get around to reading these books sometime soonish although I must point out that I didn’t buy any of these books – they’re all Jack’s fault!