Anne Smith has been annoying me, and I’m sure many other fiction lovers, for nearly a decade now. In 1981 she published a brilliant first novel called The Magic Glass which was a hilarious but touching story about a working class Scottish girl trying to get to grips with those three adolescent mysteries: sex, politics and religion. It was funny but powerful, too, and it was obvious a talented novelist had been launched.
Right: it is now nearly ten years later and I’ve grown tired of waiting for a sequel. When I heard of this book I immediately assumed it was fiction and was sorry to find it was not. Instead it is that contradiction in terms, a written ‘oral’ history, a genre