Goblin by Ever Dundas
Ever Dundas' debut novel is an enchanting, genre-defying read
The Saltire Award-winning Goblin shines as one of Scottish Literature's brightest highlights of 2017. Like all attempts to categorise essentially human things – love, sex, art, identity – the term 'Scottish Novel' can quickly constrict, turning in a flash from the helpful outline into a rigid, reductive little box that crushes out most of what the novel is. Rugged Scottish slang and picturesque Edinburgh streets both flow through Ever Dundas’ novel, but so do Nietzsche’s dark ruminations and Terry Gilliam’s carnival imagination. It is a Scottish Novel, a work of magical realism, an Animal Rights outcry. It is all of these things, though not one of them is what it is. It’s an invective against putting things in these kinds of boxes, and of course it is not just that either.
Goblin grows up scurrying around a London besieged by air raid sirens and the growing cloud of war. Largely unloved, she wanders the streets mostly undetected. As she runs free, she hears the stories that everyone else ignores: the stories of oddballs and outcasts, the “crazy” people who don’t make any sense. As her last semblance of a 'home' crumbles in the Blitz, she is cast across the world, continuing to collect the stories of the other misfit toys and weaving them in to her own.
Born in the dark and bursting with light, Goblin and Goblin are completely enchanting.