5 of the best Scottish authors to discover for Book Week Scotland

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Scotland is home to some of the greatest writers of all time. And, with Book Week Scotland running from 15 November to 21 November, there’s never been a better time to read some of their fantastic work.

From names you might have heard but never had a chance to explore, to the newest blood making their mark on the scene, here are five Scottish authors to discover for Book Week Scotland.

1. Irvine Welsh

Best known for his 1993 novel, Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh is one of the most accomplished Scottish authors currently writing.

Welsh’s work is famed for its gritty and raw depictions of Edinburgh life, using Scottish dialect that creates an unparalleled sense of realism.

If you’ve never had the chance to read one of Welsh’s novels, this year’s Book Week Scotland is the perfect time to give his work a go.

2. Claire Askew

Claire Askew is one of Scotland’s most prolific crime writers, having made a splash in the scene with her 2018 debut, All the Hidden Truths.

Unsurprisingly, Askew’s first novel was shortlisted for many book awards, winning both the Lucy Cavendish Fiction prize in 2016 and the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the year in 2019.

Askew has written two more novels since, as well as publishing some of her poetry, offering some relief to the darker corners of her crime novels.

3. Iain Banks

Iain Banks has made huge contributions to both literary fiction under the name “Iain Banks”, and also to science fiction under the pen name “Iain M. Banks”.

Initially, Banks gained popularity for his novel, The Wasp Factory, a success that allowed him to write full time.

Spanning from 1987 to 2012, Banks then produced the “Culture” series, a 10-book series of novels taking place in the same universe of The Culture, a utopian society that has accumulated enough resources to sustain itself forever.

Whether you’re a fan of more traditional fiction stories or you’d be more interested in his science-fiction tales, Banks is an unmissable Scottish author.

4. Denise Miza

The author of 14 novels, Denise Miza is a huge name in so-called “Tartan Noir” thanks to her novels featuring fictional journalist Patricia “Paddy” Meehan.

Miza has a law degree, a PhD focusing on the ascription of mental illness to female offenders, and previously taught criminology and criminal law at Strathclyde University.

This knowledgeable background undoubtedly feeds into her work, in the form of well-researched, visceral novels.

Miza’s first three novels, known collectively as the Garnethill trilogy, are the perfect place to start exploring her gritty, carefully constructed stories. 

5. Douglas Stuart

Douglas Stuart is one of the most exciting new Scottish authors on the scene, having scooped the 2020 Booker Prize for his debut novel, Shuggie Bain.

Glaswegian born and raised, Stuart’s debut novel is an ode to life in post-industrial Glasgow. The novel follows the story of the eponymous character, Shuggie, as he grows up with his alcoholic mother, Agnes.

Stuart’s next novel, Young Mungo, is due for publication in 2022, and is one you should definitely keep an eye out for.

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