At Scotland Street Press we are passionate about women’s writing. To celebrate female authors from around the world in 2021, for the first time in our history, we are producing a themed publication list: International Women 2021.
These women have incredible stories to tell. Stories that traverse continents, traditions, histories and artistic practices, and explore themes as varied as motherhood, COVID-19 and life as a squirrel. While, happily, female authors are now well represented in publishing in the UK, their stories have often remained untold in history. That is what International Women 2021 responds to.
The list comprises poetry, biography, fiction and children’s literature, with authors, poets and artists hailing from Canada, South Africa, India, the USA and of course, Scotland. They all have a connection to Scotland, helping us build bridges from our wee Press out to the world.
The three poetry collections on the list explore the interplay between poetry and visual art. A Song to Keep was created in a distanced exchange between artist Domenica de Ferranti and poet Olivia Findlay. Patient Dignity features pairings of paintings and poems by Vibha Pankaj and Bashabi Fraser, both from India and now living in Scotland. Restricted Movement is, among other things, an exploration of poet Traci O’Dea’s relationship with her father, who’s paintings feature in the book and aid his struggle with addiction.
Alongside the poetry, International Women 2021 also features Marjorie’s Journey, the incredible biography of a woman who sailed from Scotland to South Africa with ten children during WWII, told by her relative Ailie Cleghorn. Firkin and the Grey Gangsters is the last in our series of republished children’s books from Ann Scott-Moncrieff after many were lost in the Blitz. The series concludes with The Queen’s Lender, a historical novel exploring the life of the jeweller George Heriot to King James VI by Jean Findlay.
A memoir by Against the frightening backdrop of World War II, a young Scottish woman took ten children by ship through the waters of the Atlantic from Scotland to South Africa, where she set up a home for them called Bairnshaven. An unusual portrayal of motherhood, nuclear family and love, Marjorie’s story comes to life through diary pages, letters, telegrams and photographs. Marjorie’s Journey - On a Mission of her Own is her first book published with Scotland Street Press. (February 2021)
The first book of poetry by Olivia Findlay who grew up in South Africa and now lives in the Highlands of Scotland. Artist Domenica de Ferranti has worked together with Olivia and produced charcoal drawings to complement the poems which are both metaphysical and modern. (May 2021)
Traci O’Dea’s Restricted Movement collection of poems documents life in isolation during Covid-19. This explosive collection of poems documents life as a daughter trying to support her artist father who is overseas struggling with dementia and drug addiction. Interspersed with the frantic cycle of overdoses, escapes from care, disappearances and urgent international phone calls are moments of reflection on her father’s artwork and her seaside surroundings. (June 2021)
In July the poet Dr Bashabi Fraser CBE and artist Vibha Pankaj, both from India, now living in Edinburgh, explore transnational tensions in poetry and paint. Inspired by Tagore, this collection explores human fragility and resilience. (July 2021)
The last of children’s books republished from the original in 1940. It features the original lively illustrations by Rojan, which complement this tale of the battle between the Scots red squirrels and the American grey squirrels. (End of July 2021)
Concluding the 2021 International Women series is The Queen’s Lender by Jean Findlay. This historical novel explores the life of George Heriot, jeweller to King James VI, when he moves with the Court from Edinburgh to London to take over the English throne. (December 2021)