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TITLE
What did you speak about at Scotland's Global Impact? - Douglas Gibson
EXTERNAL ID
AB_SGI_09_DOUGLAS_GIBSON_Q_03
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Douglas Gibson
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
41058
KEYWORDS
conferences
emigration
lecturers
audio
audios
speakabout

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As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad.

Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Douglas Gibson answers the question:

'Could you give a brief summary of what you spoke about at the conference?'

'At the conference here I've been delighted to speak about three great Scottish or Scotch-Canadian writers who are Hugh MacLennan, Alistair MacLeod and Alice Munro, and what's remarkable is that I had the good fortune to work as an editor with all three of them. I was a boy editor and Hugh MacLennan was a very senior writer and we, well, we happened to work together and I was his friend as well as his editor and publisher. And the same applies to Alistair MacLeod more recently and Alice Munro whom I've been editing and publishing since about 1978. And these are three writers who all lay great importance on their Scottish background and, in fact, Alistair MacLeod - Jim Hunter has written - is writing in a continuum, if you like, where what happened in the Highlands of Scotland is just continued with what happened to these same families with Highland names who happened to be in Cape Breton, and in the Gaelic speaking part of Cape Breton too.

And Alice Munro has this link with the Highlands which is extraordinary because her own people were Laidlaws from the Scottish Borders, and I investigated her family background because she wrote a book about that called 'The View from Castle Rock', castle rock being Edinburgh Castle rock. And I learned that Ettrick was where her family came from and, in fact, the farm that her people came from, around 1700, or the earliest inhabitant was around 1700, and it's right at the spine of Scotland; it's called Phawhope and was supposedly the highest farm in Scotland, and that doesn't really speak towards good land, and it's, if you just go up the hill behind the farm you're, you're over the spine of Scotland and suddenly all the water is, is running west into the Solway and the Atlantic and it's, it's on the Southern Upland Trail, so you can actually visit the old Laidlaw farm which is very much the way it was a hundred, two hundred years ago. Anyway, Alice has written about that, and I was able to help her with the Scottish background, and she and I have done about a dozen books together now.

So, I've been very lucky to work with Hugh MacLennan, Alistair MacLeod, and Alice Munro and that's basically what I've been talking about at the conference. My unusual view of these three distinguished authors - because it's one thing to be a reader and just admire their work, it's another if you have been involved in editing them and working with them - so I've had this unique view of all three and, I must say, preparing the talk was just tremendously pleasant because you spend a lot of time reading, and therefore in the company of, three superb writers. It's been great.'


BIOGRAPHY

Douglas Gibson, born and educated in Scotland, is a graduate of St. Andrews and Yale. He has spent over forty years as an editor and publisher in Canada, working with many of that country's finest writers.

© Photo by Lois Siegel

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What did you speak about at Scotland's Global Impact? - Douglas Gibson

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

2000s

conferences; emigration; lecturers; audio; audios; speakabout;

Am Baile

Scotland's Global Impact

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad. <br /> <br /> Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Douglas Gibson answers the question:<br /> <br /> 'Could you give a brief summary of what you spoke about at the conference?'<br /> <br /> 'At the conference here I've been delighted to speak about three great Scottish or Scotch-Canadian writers who are Hugh MacLennan, Alistair MacLeod and Alice Munro, and what's remarkable is that I had the good fortune to work as an editor with all three of them. I was a boy editor and Hugh MacLennan was a very senior writer and we, well, we happened to work together and I was his friend as well as his editor and publisher. And the same applies to Alistair MacLeod more recently and Alice Munro whom I've been editing and publishing since about 1978. And these are three writers who all lay great importance on their Scottish background and, in fact, Alistair MacLeod - Jim Hunter has written - is writing in a continuum, if you like, where what happened in the Highlands of Scotland is just continued with what happened to these same families with Highland names who happened to be in Cape Breton, and in the Gaelic speaking part of Cape Breton too. <br /> <br /> And Alice Munro has this link with the Highlands which is extraordinary because her own people were Laidlaws from the Scottish Borders, and I investigated her family background because she wrote a book about that called 'The View from Castle Rock', castle rock being Edinburgh Castle rock. And I learned that Ettrick was where her family came from and, in fact, the farm that her people came from, around 1700, or the earliest inhabitant was around 1700, and it's right at the spine of Scotland; it's called Phawhope and was supposedly the highest farm in Scotland, and that doesn't really speak towards good land, and it's, if you just go up the hill behind the farm you're, you're over the spine of Scotland and suddenly all the water is, is running west into the Solway and the Atlantic and it's, it's on the Southern Upland Trail, so you can actually visit the old Laidlaw farm which is very much the way it was a hundred, two hundred years ago. Anyway, Alice has written about that, and I was able to help her with the Scottish background, and she and I have done about a dozen books together now. <br /> <br /> So, I've been very lucky to work with Hugh MacLennan, Alistair MacLeod, and Alice Munro and that's basically what I've been talking about at the conference. My unusual view of these three distinguished authors - because it's one thing to be a reader and just admire their work, it's another if you have been involved in editing them and working with them - so I've had this unique view of all three and, I must say, preparing the talk was just tremendously pleasant because you spend a lot of time reading, and therefore in the company of, three superb writers. It's been great.'<br /> <br /> <br /> BIOGRAPHY<br /> <br /> Douglas Gibson, born and educated in Scotland, is a graduate of St. Andrews and Yale. He has spent over forty years as an editor and publisher in Canada, working with many of that country's finest writers.<br /> <br /> © Photo by Lois Siegel