Crime Scotland – Then and Now

16th June, 2012

A guest post by Lin Anderson

The Germans love Scottish crime writing and to prove it a weekend conference took place in Goettingen from 31st May to the 3rd June, organised by Dr Kirsten Sandrock, of the Department of English Literature and Cultural Studies at Georg-August University, and her colleague Dr Frauke Reitemeier. An audience of around forty delegates from numerous universities in Germany, Poland, England, Scotland, Italy, Croatia and Spain came together under the auspices of The Society for Scottish Studies in Europe to present papers… and discuss Tartan Noir.

Many of the authors who will be present at Bloody Scotland were under discussion, including Ian Rankin and Denise Mina. A keynote speech by Andrew Lycett on Sherlock Holmes – Scottish Detective, opened the proceedings, and I gave my keynote speech on Scottish Crime Writing – Our Other Cultural Export midway through.

The enthusiasm for Scottish crime writing and Scotland in general was wonderful to behold. It was also surreal to hear the work of my friends and neighbours under deep discussion. When asked if I thought Rebus would return I said yes. Then came back to find the announcement appear in the paper a few days later.

A great many readers in Europe and Germany in particular will be very happy to hear that.

Some example papers:

  • – Agnieszka Sienkiewicz: A crime scene waiting to happen: Edinburgh in the novels of Ian Rankin
  • – Cyprian Piskurek: Age of Devolution, Age of Retirement: John Rebus and Ageism
  • – Janneke Rauscher: The detective as wanderer between worlds: Glasgow as semantic space in Denise Mina’s Garnethill
  • – Natascha Haas: A look at the Hyde side: does duality still work in post devolutionary crime fiction?

Makes you wonder if our work can be discussed on this level, why can’t a crime book be eligible to win the Man Booker?