Scottish Women's Gothic and Fantastic Writing: Fiction since 1978

Scottish Women's Gothic and Fantastic Writing: Fiction since 1978

Scottish Women's Gothic and Fantastic Writing: Fiction since 1978

Scottish Women's Gothic and Fantastic Writing: Fiction since 1978


Monica German investigates the prevelance of supernatural motifs (ghosts, doubles, witches, magical journeys) in contemporary Western culture and offers the first study of Scottish women's fantasy writing of the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries. She examines the supernatural device of being re-born, identified as one of the most prominent trends in the Scottish literary and cultural zeitgeist of the most recent fin-de-siècle, and provides a comprehensive survey of non-realistic fiction since 1978. She tackles well-known figures, such as Muriel Spark and A. L. Kennedy ( So I am Glad), and emerging writers, such as Alice Thomson ( Justine) and Ali Smith ( Hotel World). German highlights the bond between oral and written traditions in Scotland as they have emerged in texts that engage with literary precedents, such as Emma Tennant's parody The Bad Sister and James Hogg's Justified Sinner. Having established a connection with a distinctively Scottish literary tradition, this volume unveils the trajectories of a new canon produced over three critical decades. These books reveal distinctive points of departure through their engagement with contemporary feminist and postmodern discourses and interrogation of traditional notions of Scottish identity.


For most of our history, […] our narrative tastes have been for the epic
adventure, the romantic quest, the fantastic voyage, the magical mystery.

Veronica Hollinger

We live in Gothic times.
Angela Carter


The last two decades of the twentieth century were significantly regarded as a regenerative phase for literature produced in Scotland: the ‘New Scottish Renaissance’ was marked by the establishment of key authors such as Alasdair Gray, Edwin Morgan and James Kelman, and the rise of a literary avant-garde including Iain Banks, Irvine Welsh and Alan Warner. the last twenty years of the century also witnessed the development of Scottish studies as a new academic field pioneered by the critical works of Cairns Craig, Ian Duncan, Douglas Gifford and Murray Pittock, accompanied by an increased interest in Scottish women’s writing explored thoroughly for the first time by Douglas Gifford and Dorothy McMillan’s A History of Scottish Women’s Writing (1997); parallel to the scholarly effort to unveil an existing women’s literary tradition, Scotland witnessed the consolidation and establishment of literary figures such as Liz Lochhead, Kathleen Jamie, Janice Galloway and, more . . .

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