Western swing - Andrew Greig



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Western swing - adventures with the heretical Buddha
Andrew Greig
Paperback / softback
Bloodaxe Books
UK Publication Date

Western Swing is an adventurous long poem conjured around a displaced Scotland. Driven by rare energy, dark humour and glee, as well as a wonderful sense of what is strange and what is possible, Andrew Greig's new book is also an exploration of Desire, Loss and Renewal in our lives. Combining quest narrative, shaggy-dog story, lyricism, meditations and eclectic 'sampling', the poem propels us from Glencoe to Katmundu, by ying carpet to Cambridge, into the High Atlas Mountains, on to Marrakech, returning to the Celtic kingdom of Dalriada for a show-down on a pier in East Fife. Western Swing is the natural sequel to Andrew Greig's acclaimed novel Electric Brae, as well as to his earlier long poem Men On Ice. It's years on, the Company have scattered. An empty 'I' drives across Rannoch Moor in an old 2CV, in search of Brock, Ken and Stella, and a lost Healing Blade, accompanied only by a shadowy, jovial gure with a brolly, a Panama hat and a few wise-cracks - the Heretical Buddha. The High Atlas section of the book was a prizewinner in the 1993 Observer/Arvon International Poetry Competion.

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Andrew Greig is one of the leading Scottish writers of his generation. He has published eight collections of poetry, most of these with Bloodaxe, including The Order of the Day (Poetry Book Society Choice, 1990), This Life, This Life: New & Selected Poems 1970-2006 (2006), and As Though We Were Flying (2011), which was shortlisted in the poetry section of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust Book Awards in 2012. His most recent poetry titles are Getting Higher: the complete mountain poems (Polygon, 2011) and Found at Sea (Polygon, 2013). Known as 'the poet laureate of climbing', he publishes his collected poems of mountain adventures real and metaphorical as Getting Higher with Birlinn in 2011. Two books on his Himalayan expeditions have become classics in their field, as have Preferred Lies (a meditation on golf, self-recovery, Scotland) and At the Loch of the Green Corrie (fishing for Norman MacCaig, catching much else besides). His seven novels include That Summer (Faber, 2000), The Return of John Macnab (Headline, 1996) and its late sequel Romanno Bridge (Quercus, 2008), In Another Light (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2004), which was Saltire Scottish Book of the Year, and most recently, Fair Helen (Quercus, 2013). His latest book is a memoir (with Mike Heron), You Know What You Could Be: tuning into the 1960s (Quercus, 2017). He lives in Edinburgh and Orkney with his wife, novelist Lesley Glaister.

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