Eric Linklater was one of the most respected and prolific Scottish writers of this century, yet more than twenty-five years have passed since his last collection of short stories was published. This selection covers Linklater’s entire writing life. The settings are as various as the places where he lived – Orkney, India, California, Edinburgh, and the Highlands – and the events that take place both fantastic and sensual in their depiction.
A strong seam of Scottish history and culture runs through much of Linklater’s work. The short stories include classics of the form, such as The Goose Girl and Kind Kitty, and wild variations on fairy stories, medieval myths, bawdy folktales, Viking sagas, and 1920s crime reports. They derive form the magic of the world – love, beauty, ambition, drink, and language. Their exuberant invention and comic verve provide glorious evidence for George Mackay Brown’s assertion that ‘Linklater is one of Scotland’s best story-tellers ever’.