When They Lay Bare

Andrew Greig
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ISBN 9780571201211 Format Paperback
Published 17/04/2000 Length 336 pages

About Book

This novel of obsession, passion and death occupies the borderlands between the supernatural novels of Scott, Hogg and Stevenson, and the psychological novels of Rendall and Highsmith.

An unknown woman walks out of a border mist with an old satchel over her shoulder. Spied on by the factor of the estate, she enters a cottage that has been locked and empty for more than twenty years since the violent deaths of its previous inhabitants. The woman, who will claim to be the daughter of the dead couple, is carrying a set of antique plates that tell the story of adultery, betrayal and murder implicit in the most famous of the sixteenth century Border Ballads: The Twa Corbies. She believes these plates can tell her the truth both about what happened here in the past and what she is to do now. Who is this powerful woman intent on revenge? It is possible she doesn't know the truth about herself as she works to ensnare the son and heir of the estate, break the factor to her will, seduce the young man's fiancee, and harry the estate owner, Sim Elliot to an early death. This novel's genius is to marry the atmosphere of the Border Ballads - stark, poetic and timeless - with a story at once ancient and contemporary, told through the highly charged and erotic Corbie Plates. Written in prose of extraordinary power and beauty, When They Lay Bare is a gripping, dreamlike narrative, at the heart of which is a burning love story and mystery.

  • About Andrew Greig

    Andrew Greig was born in Bannockburn near Stirling in 1951. He completed an MA in Philosophy at Edinburgh University and then worked in a variety of jobs, including salmon netting, hop picking and farm work. He 'survived' as a poet for nearly 20 years thanks to the Scottish Arts Council and various bursaries, as well as teaching creative writing in schools and giving readings. He was Writer-in-Residence at Glasgow University from 1979-1981, and at Edinburgh University from 1992-1994.$$$Andrew Greig now lives in Orkney and the Lothians. His first novel, Electric Brae, was shortlisted for the McVitie's Prize and the Boardman-Tasker Award, and his second, The Return of John MacNab, was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelist's Award and topped the Scottish bestseller lists in 1996. He is also the author of the acclaimed When They Lay Bare (1999) and That Summer (2000).$$$He is recognized as one of the leading Scottish poets of his generation, having written six volumes of poetry. He is also well-known for his writing on mountaineering, based on his climbing experiences in Scotland and the Himalayas. His acknowledged classic in mountaineering literature, Kingdoms of Experience, has recently been reissued by Canongate.

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