Patrick Parrinder

  • King Cameron by David Craig
    Carcanet, 212 pp, £12.95, May 1991, ISBN 0 85635 917 3
  • The Hungry Generations by David Gilmour
    Sinclair-Stevenson, 194 pp, £13.95, August 1991, ISBN 1 85619 069 2
  • O Caledonia by Elspeth Barker
    Hamish Hamilton, 152 pp, £13.99, August 1991, ISBN 0 241 13146 4

David Craig has an unfashionable concern with truth-telling in fiction. In his earlier role as a literary critic, he wrote a book called The Real Foundations in which he showed how some of the most respected 19th and 20th-century novelists and poets had blatantly falsified social reality. If a work of realistic fiction is to be convincing in general, according to Craig, it ought to convince us in particulars. Now he has written a historical novel which opens with the solemn affirmation that ‘many of the people, incidents and other items in this story are real. Where a fact existed, I have never knowingly substituted an invented item for it.’

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