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3 November 2014

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Buchanan Street, Glasgow, 1930s

Ghost City - by Ronald Frame

Ghost City offers the reader a series of reflections held together by a thread that runs through the narrative, his experience of the Ghost City of the title and of his birth: Glasgow. Frame begins by creating for us a sense of the world in which he grew up, a comfortable suburban lifestyle with all of the advantages associated with that. He leads us through those days, wandering through church and tennis club, and pausing for a while in a vivid account of his schooldays. Some memories of learning Latin and Greek signal a shift in direction in the piece and he invites us to consider some issues beyond his own life, from what it means to be Scottish, to the kind of city Glasgow has become, and what has made it so. He finishes by asking us to think about how time and our experience of life can blur the boundaries between appearance and reality, fact and fiction. We are left wondering about how far we can trust this writer's vision of his past and of Glasgow, but also very aware of what drives him to want to write and the importance of memory in that process. So, this piece gives us insights into the writer, his writing, memory, Glasgow and Scotland.

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