In the era of the instant communication that comes with the ever-advancing technology it is easy to forget the art of letter writing where relationships were built, and destroyed, on well-travelled paper. With texting, emails, or messaging through social media, exchange is almost instantaneous. The miles between the conversation matter little in this form. Letters, however, are a somewhat forgotten mode of communication that involves more thought-out conversations, triggering also a certain amount of suspense between delivering and receiving. Jeremy Cooper’s Bolt from the Blue revives the letter as dialogue in capturing the complicated relationship between a mother and daughter.
Scotland is known for ancient icons such as the Loch Ness Monster, its national animal being mythical in itself (the unicorn), and its seemingly endless array of folk tales, passed down through generations. What Rachel Plummer captures in their collection Wain is a reimagining of Scottish folklore through an LGBTQ lens. This book greets you with a watercolour explosion of a cover in which a faerie creature beckons you to turn the page and enter this enchanting collection.
Published in 2019 by The Emma Press, Wain is a reimagining of Scottish folklore with an LGBT focus. After receiving the 2016 Scottish Book Trust New Writers Award, Plummer was commissioned by LGBT Youth Scotland to write what would become Wain. They describe the experience as fantastic and recall discussions they had with some of the staff there: ‘as LGBT people reading folklore and fairytales when we were younger we often identified more with the monster or the villain or this idea of considering ourselves to be in some way monstrous because of how society portrays us’