In Search of Scottish Identity (a short reading list)
As we approach Hogmanay, or New Year’s Eve, it seemed appropriate for me to revisit this light-hearted list I recently compiled on the theme of Scottish American heritage.
As I began my search in HCPL I found some wonderful serious and recent books on the nature and development of the national character, the Scottish diaspora, and on Scottish contributions to the world. These accessible but learned books consciously make an effort to avoid the stereotypes that are popularly attached to the Scottish character.
As I broadened my search however, I had a great deal of fun in discovering that many authors actually celebrate the wild, tartan kilted Highlander of fey or warlike tendencies. The stereotypes live on to different degrees in a whole range of enjoyable fiction!
Books About the Complexity and Richness of Scottish Identity and Culture:
How the Scots Invented the Modern World by Arthur Herman
The Invention of Scotland: myth and history by H. R. Trevor-Roper
Scotland: the story of a nation by Magnus Magnusson
In Search of Scotland published by BBC Scotland
Heritage of Scotland by Nathaniel Harris
The Scottish Kitchen by Christopher Trotter
Some Scots are Women
The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith
The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday by Alexander McCall Smith
Some Scots Live in Modern Cities
Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin
Not All Scots Live in Scotland
The Songcatcher: a ballad novel by Sharyn McCrumb
But Sometimes the Stereotypes Hold true – at least in literature
Scots on the Rocks by Mary daheim
44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith
Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith
Death of a Cad by M. C. Beaton
Death of a Bore by M. C. Beaton
Sometimes We Wish They Were True!
The Highlander by Heather Grothaus
A Highlander Never Surrenders by Paula Quinn
Highlander Ever After by Jennifer Ashley
(P.S. I would be happy to try to create a similar list for any other ethnic group in America you suggest)