The Other Voice: Scottish Women's Writing Since 1808: An Anthology

Moira Burgess, Other Polygon $0 (290p) ISBN 978-0-948275-31-9
This anthology offers writings spanning nearly two centuries by 25 Scottish women. The stories vary greatly in setting, style, tone and point of view, but the quality is generally high. Elizabeth Hamilton's ``A Sensible Effect on the Nerves,'' abridged from her 1808 novel, describes the age-old clash of city and country ways when Mrs. Mason, a domestic servant who has lost her post, moves to a country cousin's home. The contrast is heightened by Mrs. Mason's use of the King's English, while her cousin speaks in the Scottish vernacular. Joan Ure (d. 1978) presents a witty and powerful view of a woman struggling with motherhood in ``It's My Day for Leaving Home.'' ``No Letters, Please,'' by contemporary novelist and biographer Nancy Brysson Morrison, is a poignant tale of a man's alienation from his wife, a condition he ironically discovers only after her death. The best-known writer here is Muriel Spark, and she is represented by an especially fine story, ``The Black Madonna.'' The volume's chief weakness is Burgess's (The Glasgow Novel) academic introduction, which poses the tired question of whether there is a uniquely female voice in literature and gives far too little background on the writers, their literary milieu and professional challenges. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
Hardcover - 290 pages - 978-0-948275-39-5
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