Another Country. Out now.
John Herdman was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1941, went to
school there and to university at Magdalene College, Cambridge,
where he graduated with 1st Class Honours in English and later
received his Ph.D. Thereafter he returned to Scotland and during
the late 1960s and 1970s was much involved in Scottish nationalism,
both political and literary, a period recalled in his memoir "Poets,
Pubs, Polls and Pillar Boxes" (1999) expanded as Another Country (2013).
John Herdman is a novelist, short story writer, playwright and
critic and has published 15 books. He has had two plays successfully
produced on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in 1985 and 1997. He
has held a Creative Writing Fellowship at Edinburgh University,
Hawthornden Writer's Fellowships (twice), and the William Soutar
Fellowship in Perth, and has been Writer in Residence at Champlain
College, Trent University, Canada. He has received Scottish Arts
Council Awards for his novels Pagan's Pilgrimage and Imelda,
and four Scottish Arts Council Bursaries. His work has been taught
at universities in France, Australia and Russia.
Herdman's principal books of fiction are the early novellas and
stories now collected in Four
and Other Stories; Ghostwriting and The
Sinister Cabaret. He has been described as "a worthy
successor to James Hogg and R L Stevenson" within the field
of Scottish fiction, but his main affinities are perhaps with European
writers of the nineteenth century and with the Irish and European
modernists. His fictions have a metaphysical flavour and are salted
with liberal dashes of the satirical and the grotesque. He has
a particular obsession with the theme of duality and has published
a critical study of the motif of the Double in nineteenth century
fiction. He has also written a pioneering study of the lyrics of
Bob Dylan, Voice Without Restraint, and to demonstrate his
eclecticism has edited two volumes of The Third Statistical
Account of Scotland.
John Herdman is married and lives in Highland Perthshire.