Classic novel Sunset Song celebrates its 90th anniversary

Lewis Grassic Gibbon novel is renowned for its depiction of life in the north-east before and after the First World War

Lewis Grassic Gibbon classic novel Sunset Song celebrates its 90th anniversary STV News

One of Scotland’s best loved novels is celebrating its 90th anniversary.

Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon was published in 1932 and became internationally famous for its depiction of life in the north-east before and after the First World War.

The heart-breaking story captures the landscape and language of Aberdeenshire and is a tale of one passionate young women’s struggle in a time of great social change.

The novel was first published in 1932 and has been dramatised for the stage and big screen. It’s a universal tale that is considered as relevant today as it was 90 years ago.

Dr Sarah Sharp of Aberdeen University said: “I think the way Grassic Gibbon uses language is unique and special.

“He looks for a way to reflect the rhythms and cadences of the language of the place he is talking about in a way a wider group of readers could enjoy. It has this beautiful poetry and lyricism while still feeling grounded in a tradition and that is pretty special.”

Gibbon, whose real name was James Leslie Mitchell, grew up in Arbuthnott, just south of Aberdeen, which provided the setting for his most famous novel.

Sharp added: “The thing about Sunset Song is that it describes a real landscape, it’s so clearly grounded in the life of the north-east and that is very, very special for people. It has a wonderful local resonance in Aberdeenshire and the way it uses language is also really, really grounded in local culture and a real sense of something real.”

Sunset Song is part of The Scots Quair trilogy and a few years ago it was voted Scotland’s favourite novel.

Gibbon was only 33-years-old when he died. He’s buried in the grave yard at Arbuthnott but Sunset Song enthusiasts say he created a masterpiece of Scottish literature that will live forever.