Carl MacDougall has written three prize-winning novels, four pamphlets and four collections of short stories, two works of non-fiction and has edited four anthologies, including the best selling The Devil and the Giro. He has written and presented two major television series for BBC 2, is President of Scottish PEN, an Honorary Fellow of the Association for Scottish Literary Studies and is probably working on too many things.

Carl and Stash, Sacramento.


Carl speaking on the Short Stories of Iain Crichton Smith, ASLS Schools Conference, 2013.


Someone Always Robs The Poor

A long-awaited new collection of stories from one of Scotland’s most acclaimed writers.

A young man returns from London, facing the prospect of reunion with a young daughter he’s never met. A woman recounts her family’s doomed attempt to emigrate from Poland to America 70 years before. A creative writing tutor is shocked by the story of one of his students, who is connected to a past atrocity in Bosnia. A former architect fights a losing battle with alcoholism and the ghosts from his past. Here is a new collection of brilliant stories from the multi-award winning elder statesman of Scottish literature, exploring themes of poverty, migration, alienation, accountability and alcoholism, with an impressive depth and emotional range.

San Francisco advice

San Francisco advice.


The idea has been around for some time. Perhaps it started with Yasunari Kawabata’s Palm of the Hand stories, William Saroyan had a lot to do with it and James Robertson’s 365 showed what could be done.

The idea is to post something every week beginning on my birthday and ending a year later. They might be stories, ideas, observations, the way some experts say we should get started, what Russell Hoban called Finger Exercises or how Sir Walter Scott apparently started his day.

Already, I suspect I’ll fail. I have a couple of trips planned. I’ll try to post when I’m away and if I write something I’ll date and post it when I get back, otherwise I’ll add the missing dates to the sequence. We’ll see. We’ll make a start, then on we’ll go.

This column will resume shortly.

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