'My English exam was extract from my crime writer dad's novel'

The novelist is also the son of famous Scottish crime writer William McIlvanney,

Writer Liam McIlvanney’s English exam was extract from crime writer dad’s Laidlaw novel Bloody Scotland

Fiction writer Liam McIlvanney has shared how he was asked to read his famous Dad’s novel as part of his ‘O’ Grade English exam.

The novelist, who is also the son of the famous crime writer William McIlvanney, shared an image of the old exam text from 1985 on Twitter.

He shared how he was shocked to find the paper contained a passage for close reading from one of his Dad’s Laidlaw novels.

Alongside an image of the exam paper, he tweeted: “On 30 April 1985, sitting my English ‘O’ Grade in the Assembly Hall of Grange Academy in Kilmarnock, I turned over the exam paper to see…this!”

When asked in the comments if he passed, he replied that he “scraped through”.

McIlvanney, who now lives in New Zealand, went on to become a writer and academic in his own right.

His most recent novel, The Quaker, won the 2018 McIlvanney Prize for the Scottish Crime Book of the Year.

The sequel, The Heretic, was published in January 2022.

His father’s Laidlaw series is considered the first ‘Tartan Noir’ with Iain Rankin crediting the series among his inspiration to write his famous Rebus novels.

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