No Wealth To Leave Us: Towards a matrilineal heritage in Scottish literature
By the time we reach the 1980s, of course, things have changed considerably in terms of women’s freedom, but not necessarily in terms of their literary worth. One book dominated the Scottish literary scene in that decade and you might say it’s been dominating it ever since. In 1981, the year of the publication of Lanark, Alasdair Gray himself was ‘anointed’ one might say, by Anthony Burgess, who called him ‘the best Scottish novelist since Walter Scott.’ Scott -of course. Lanark was described as ‘changing the landscape of Scottish fiction’, it was ‘one of the landmarks of 20th Century fiction’. Its experimentation and its surrealism had critics likening Gray to James Joyce and Saul Bellow.