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Synopsis

Edwin Muir - POOR TOM, J.F. Hendry - FERNIE BRAE, Gordon M. Williams - FROM SCENES LIKE THESE, Tom Gallacher - APPRENTICE. Introduced by Liam McIlvanney. Growing Up in the West presents four very different and memorably vivid accounts of what it was to be young and growing up in Glasgow and the west of Scotland, from the 1930s to the 1960s. Poor Tom tells of a young man’s struggle to come to terms with the slow death of his brother in the city slums of a culturally impoverished Scotland. Fernie Brae celebrates the growth and education of a sensitive in a novel reminiscent of Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Gordon Williams’s novel tells a grimmer story as its young protagonist eventually succumbs to a culture of drink and violence where the harshness of life on the land sits next to industrial sprawl: ‘From scenes like these old Scotia’s grandeur springs.’ Set in the Clydeside shipyards, the wryly observant and humorous style of Apprentice strikes a happier note from the 1960s.

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