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Grey Granite

 Book Review from the January 1996 issue of the Socialist Standard

Grey Granite by Lewis Grassic Gibbon (Canongate Press)

The novel Grey Granite, the third volume of Lewis Grassic Gibbon's trilogy A Scots Quair, is a text that fits rather snugly within the canon of twentieth-century literary modernism, even though it is rarely to be found on a university syllabus, at least outside Scotland.

 The plot primarily involves Chris Colquohoun and her son Ewan Tavendale, making a "new life" for themselves after moving to the industrial city of Duncairn from the country. While Chris works in a boarding house, Ewan goes to work at Gowans, the local steel works. The general relationships between these and other characters are obviously one of the main elements of the plot, but these relationships and the other events presented in the text are heavily coloured, if not determined, by Ewan's movement from an apparently self-reliant and individualist conception of his "self&qu…

Dance of the Apprentices

All pupils taking Higher English will have to learn at least one Scottish text under a new requirement by the Holyrood Government to ensure future generations of Scottish young people grow up with an understanding of their culture and literary heritage.

This blogger for Socialist Courier recommends that school students read "Dance of the Apprentices" - a socialist classic some say.

The novel gives a vivid account of the struggles of a Glasgow family from the first World War and into the Depression are at the end of the twenties. It is a story of Glasgow apprentices, their lives dignified with a desire for art and learning and with the ideal of reforming the world. The book follows the fortunes of one particular family - the Macdonnels. The mother dreams of success, struggling to raise her family and her ambitious husband out of slum life. A social critique of Glasgow.

Written by Edward Gaitens (1897 – 1966) who was born in the Gorbals of Glasgow. Leaving school at fourteen, …