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Natural Light cover

Natural Light II

Angela Catlin

Freight Books, Glasgow, 2016


As its title suggests, this is Angela Catlin’s sequel to her 1985 collection of portraits of Scottish writers, “Natural Light“. I’ve selected this one over its predecessor for three reasons:

  • This volume has a strong St Andrews connection featuring as it does Robert Crawford, Douglas Dunn, Don Paterson and John Burnside.
  • My old friend Ewan Morrison also makes an appearance.
  • Some of the portraits here appear with their 1985 counterpart (e.g. Alasdair Gray, James Kelman, Liz Lochead) affording us a chance to visually calculate now minus then, and in so doing wonder too at now plus as applied to the younger faces. Also, the absence of updated photographs of those writers no longer here brings to this volume an air of melancholy not manifest in the first.

As with the first volume, each portrait is accompanied by some of the featured writer’s text.

When not part of the current display, you can find it here: folio PR8527.C28;2 (language and literature – English literature – Scotland – biography collective)

(see also Angela Catlin’s “Natural Light” folio PR8527.C28)



Come along to the Main Library on North Street to take a look for yourself. This book is part of The Hidden Photobooks display which is running from 1 – 30 September and is part of the St Andrews Photography Festival. Everyone is welcome and the event is free. Check out the Library Instagram for photographs Marcus has chosen from his own work to accompany these blog posts. 

The Hidden Photobooks: Natural Light II
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