Stone Voices | Granta

  • Published: 25/04/2003
  • ISBN: 9781862075832
  • 129x20mm
  • 224 pages

Stone Voices

Neal Ascherson

Neal Ascherson is one of Britain’s finest writers in an undefinable genre that fuses history, memoir, politics and meditations on places. His books on Poland and his collected essays on the strange Britain to which he returned from Europe in the mid-1980s were deeply influential. In 1995, Black Sea won critical praise in many languages and several literary prizes. Stone Voices is Ascherson’s return to his native Scotland. It is an exploration of Scottish identity, but this is no journalistic rumination on the future of that small nation. Ascherson instead weaves together a story of the deep past – the time of geology and archaeology, of myth and legend – with the story of modern Scotland and its rebirth. Few writers in these islands have his ability to write so well about the natural context of history.

Highly personal and unusual assessment of Scotland now, weaving in his own political odyssey with a deep historical knowledge.We don't have intellectuals in this country any more except Neal and a couple of his mates, and the richness of texture in Stone Voices shows us what we are missing

Andrew Marr

A richly textured and most unusual meditation on Scotland...his ability to leapfrom archaeology to the politics of the labour party, and then back via a little linguistics to recalling a pub conversation is both disconcerting and inspiring


Provides a scholarly and poetic explanation of the emotional roots of Scottish nationalism, invaluable for any Englishman who is baffled by its anger and contradictions

New Statesman

The Author

Neal Ascherson was born in Edinburgh in 1932. Over a long career in journalism, he has written for the Observer (1960-90) and the Independent on Sunday (1990-8). He contributed scripts for the 1974 television documentary series World at War and the 1998 series The Cold War. More recently, he has been a regular contributor to the London Review of Books. His books include The Polish August, Black Sea and Stone Voices. He is the Honorary Professor at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

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