Scotland’s Bookshelf, Part III

Well, it’s been almost a month since self has been back in California.

She misses the Quidditch team (naturally).

She.  Has.  Got.  To.  Make.  It.  Back.  To.  Edinburgh.  Someday.

When most susceptible to sighing nostalgia, self turns to the little booklet she picked up from Bonnyrigg Library:  Scotland’s Bookshelf:  A Celebration of 100 Years of Scottish Writing.

The booklet is made up of excerpts from the work of Scottish writers, ranging over the past 100 years.  Each decade is represented by two writers. The representative two for the decade 2000 to 2011 are  Janice Galloway and Ali Smith.  Self has read Galloway but not Smith.

Here’s an excerpt from Smith’s novel, Girl Meets Boy:

Let me tell you about when I was a girl, my grandfather says.

It is Saturday evening; we always stay at their house on Saturdays.  The couch and the chairs are shoved back against the walls.  The teak coffee table from the middle of the room is up under the window.  The floor has been cleared for the backward and forward somersaults, the juggling with oranges and eggs, the how-to-do-a-cartwheel, how-to-stand-on-your-head, how-to-walk-on-your-hands lessons.  Our grandfather holds us upside-down by the legs until we get our balance.  Our grandfather worked in a circus before he met and married our grandmother.  He once did headstands on top of a whole troupe of headstanders.  He once walked a tightrope across the Thames.  The Thames is a river in London, which is five hundred and twenty-seven miles from here, according to the mileage chart in the RAC book in among our father’s books at home.  Oh, across the Thames, was it?  our grandmother says.  Not across the falls at Niagara?  Ah, Niagara, our grandfather says.

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