The Man Booker International Prize has gone to Alice Munro , the distinguished Canadian short story writer. Our own James Kelman was one of the contenders, in company with luminaries such as Peter Carey, Mario Vargas Llosa, V. S, Naipaul, and Joyce Carol Oates. At least we can claim a little of Munro’s success for Scotland, as her most recent collection The view from Castle Rock explores the imagined lives of her Scottish ancestors, taking them from a Borders valley to Canada, and reveals the author’s family connection with James Hogg the Ettrick Shepherd. And the Castle Rock of the title is our own Edinburgh Castle Rock, from where on a clear day apparently you can see America. This is a beautiful, haunting collection.