Introduced by Cairns Craig. The most famous Scottish novel of the early twentieth century, The House with the Green Shutters has remained a landmark on the literary scene ever since it was first published in 1901. Determined to overthrow the sentimental ‘kailyard’ stereotypes of the day, George Douglas Brown exposed the bitter pettiness of commercial greed and small-town Scottish life as he himself had come to know it. More than this, however, his novel lays bare the seductive and crippling presence of patriarchal authority in Scottish culture at large, symbolised by the terrible struggle between old John Gourlay and his weak but imaginative son. Illuminated by lightning flashes of descriptive brilliance, Brown’s prose evokes melodrama, Greek tragedy and postmodern alienation in a unique and unforgettably powerful reading experience. ‘Brown’s masterpiece was practically the first Scottish novel since Galt which dealt with nineteenth-century Scottish life as it really was; to do this, and to get away from the sentimentalism of the Kailyard, it had to be sharply, almost brutally realistic.’ Kurt Wittig, The Scottish Tradition in Literature
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