A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of appearing at the Glasgow Aye Write Book Festival. I previewed my forthcoming novel The Incomers to a welcoming audience of about seventy. The event was a combination of readings from the novel and a dramatization of ‘The Pairty Line’.
The novel tells the story of Ellie, a young Black African who comes to live in a Scottish mining village in 1966. It draws deep parallels between the cultures of West Africa and Scotland. As well as dealing with racial prejudice, the novel also touches on colonial oppression, bigotry, bullying, class and depression. The Pairty Line is a device I used to give the villagers a voice.
In this extract Ellie finds out about the Penny for the Black Baby – a form of charity used in Scottish schools for decades before it was abolished in the late 1960’s.
The Incomers from Colin Baird on Vimeo.