Scotland

Sunset Song voted Scotland's favourite book

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Media captionNicola Sturgeon reveals Sunset Song as Scotland’s Favourite Book

Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon has been voted Scotland's favourite book in a poll for the BBC's Love To Read campaign.

The top 10 novels in the survey included contemporary and classic works by authors born or based in Scotland.

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks was placed second, followed by Lanark by Alasdair Gray and The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling was also commended.

The results of the public vote, conducted by BBC Scotland in partnership with The Scottish Book Trust and The Scottish Library and Information Council, were announced in a special programme presented by Kirsty Wark.

Over the summer, online voters chose from a list of 30 novels which were selected by a literary panel curated by the Scottish Book Trust.


The nation's top 10 novels were voted to be:

1 Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

2 The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks

3 Lanark by Alasdair Gray

4 The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan

5 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

7 Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

8 Knots & Crosses by Ian Rankin

9 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

10 The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg


'Beautifully written'

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon championed Sunset Song as her favourite novel in Monday evening's programme.

She said: "I first read Sunset Song when I was in my early teens, so maybe 13 or 14.

"It resonated with me firstly because it is a wonderful story, beautifully written, but it also said something about the history of the country I grew up in and it resonated with me very strongly as a young Scottish woman, and I think its themes are timeless to this day."

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Image caption Agyness Deyn starred as Chris Guthrie in a recent film version of Sunset Song

Published in 1932, Sunset Song is the first part of Grassic Gibbon's trilogy A Scots Quair.

It tells the story of a young woman, Chris Guthrie, growing up on a farm in the fictional estate of Kinraddie in the north east of Scotland at a time of major change for rural life in the early part of the 20th Century.

Other advocates in the programme included Tam Dean Burn for Lanark, Evelyn Glennie for The Thirty Nine Steps, Susan Calman for Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone, Sanjeev Kohli for Trainspotting and Gary Lewis for The Private Memories and Confessions of a Justified Sinner.

Pauline Law, executive producer of arts at the BBC, said: "Within the top 10, there are many great classics of Scottish literature and they range, from crime writing to social commentary, from fantasy to gritty realism, and from the historical to the contemporary.

"From the feedback we've had, the poll certainly seems to have provoked discussion about Scottish literature."

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