After the Dance: Selected Stories of Iain Crichton Smith
By (author) Iain Crichton-Smith; Edited by Alan Warner
As a child Iain Crichton Smith was raised speaking Gaelic on the island of Lewis. At school in Stornoway he spoke English. Like many islanders before and since, his culture was divided: two languages and two histories entailing exile. His divided perspective delineated the tyranny of history and religion, of the cramped life of small communities, and gave him a compassionate eye for the struggle of women and men in a world defined by denials. After the Dance proves that big themes – love, history, power, submission, death – can be addressed without the foil of irony and acquire resonance when given a local habitation and a voice that risks pure, humane, impassioned speech. This new edition contains the story ‘Home’.
Iain Crichton Smith (1928 – 1998) was born in Glasgow, brought up on Lewis, and attended university in Aberdeen. After working as a teacher in Clydebank and Dumbarton, he taught at the High School in Oban until he took early retirement in 1977. He was the recipient of many literary awards and received an OBE in 1980. His widow, Donalda, still lives in Taynuilt, where the couple moved after their marriage in 1977.