Getting on

Patricia Craig

  • The Golden Bird: Two Orkney Stories by George Mackay Brown
    Murray, 226 pp, £10.95, July 1987, ISBN 0 7195 4385 1
  • The Upper Hand by Stuart Hood
    Carcanet, 186 pp, £10.95, July 1987, ISBN 0 85635 719 7
  • Dreams of Dead Women’s Handbags by Shena Mackay
    Heinemann, 160 pp, £10.95, August 1987, ISBN 0 434 44044 2

There are many small remote communities on the northern and western fringes of the British Isles which seem to have been in a state of decline for the last hundred years or so, as invasions and disruptions from the modern world set about eroding their integrity. Various age-old ways of life were seen to be unable to stand up in the face of such importations as the bicycle and the motor-powered engine. One question that arose straight away was whether one took the side of progress or tradition. Were the cut-off communities better in their unadulterated state, or was it time the amenities of everyday life were extended to them?

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