Scottish Book Special

Q: What do LIZ Lochhead. Robert Burns and E, . LeWis Grassic Gibbon have in common? A: I” ra They're just three of the hugely diverse group of I __ , ,,_,- .-/-<- #”T' " authors jostling for space in the Canongate w I . w ALTER SCOTT Classics series. 5‘“ \ mm, \. r The time has arrived for the Edinburgh 1 A. ' _ .

publishing house to look out the birthday candles i ' " ' .

"is party time as Canongate when they publish the series‘ 100th title next "

clocks up its 100th classic. month. You'd imagine the decision about what

book should take the hallowed number 100 spot would be a tough one. but for publisher Jamie Byng it was straightforward: Alasdair Gray's Lanark. ‘It was something that Canongate first “()ng BURNS published in 1981 and was an incredibly SELECTED POEMS significant book,‘ he says. ‘Everyone from William Boyd to Iain Banks to Anthony Burgess all just flipped out over this novel when it came out. In a way we couldn't have had a more significant book to mark the 100th classic.‘

This limited edition of Lanark will be a hardback boxed collection, with each of the four / ‘books' bound separately and featuring new ., artwork by the author. Gray's opus joins a list that j ' defies categorisation. one whose criteria. Byng

.f. says, is governed by quality and availability. ‘For ‘4‘, ' TT . ' copyright reasons it's not always possible to have a - - - l an! all the titles you want in a list. but it has some = interesting. lesser-known writers and that's always u been the point of the series: to celebrate the whole breadth of great Scottish literature.’ _ , , . ~ ~- . Not content with just one book to celebrate. , . , Canongate is launching a new series of Pocket MURl H, bl AR‘E Classics. featuring shorter length works. The plan «.i i l" l l ‘-‘ R is to publish half a dozen titles annually; the initial - ' six consist of three supernatural tales by James Hogg, an anthology of essential Robert Burns. Walter Scott‘s Wandering Willie 's Tale and The Two Drovers. Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde. four of Muriel Spark's short stories and six short works ROBERT LOUIS swag?!an from James Kelman. And guess what? You can STRANGE CASE OF DR JBKYLL buy them as a special limited edition box set that features a seventh title. an overview of the history of Scottish literature written by Alasdair Gray.

You might think that's more than enough to get along with. But you‘d be wrong. ‘One of the interesting things has been commissioning contemporary Scottish artists for each of the covers,‘ says Byng. ‘Every single artist I've approached has been up for it. We paired them up; I knew that Douglas Gordon was a huge James Hogg fan so that made a natural pairing, and talking to John Bellany he loved the idea of


doing the Walter Scott ones so that tied that up.‘ A“ in a". it sounds like one long party. ‘lt's a bit A'ison Watt. DaVid MaChv JOh“ Byme and of a landmark, I think. getting to a hundred for

Calum Colvin were equally matched. The artwork anything says Byng. oAnheugh the Classics are

is 90mg 0“ Show at the Ga'lery Of MOdem Adv probably less known than a lot of the books we

where one of the highlights will be Mach's busts publish. they're a key part Of Canongate's

of Robert Louis Stevenson, comprised of identity;

matchstick heads. One version is in perfect

condition, the other has been torched leaving a Canongate Classics and pocket Classics

charred companion which seemed apt due to the are published in May. see quiz, page 20. duality of Jekyll and Hyde.


Who Hugh Collins What No Smoke Tell me more Collins follows up the second part of his autobiography Walking Away with his fiction debut. No Smoke is planned as the first of a trilogy of gritty crime stories set in Glasgow. Published July by Canongate

Who William Muir What The 18th Pale Descendant Tell me more A man who won his first writing prize aged eleven with a tale about cannibalism, Glaswegian Muii deals With even more Suitably nightmarish subjects in his full-length debut. The 78th Pale Descendant explores a not-so futuristic scenario of a return to the death penalty and how someone might feel if they had to be the executioner's assistant. Published May by Quartet

15— 29 Mar 2001 THE LIST 19