Scabby Queen
Kirstin Innes, Read by Cathleen McCarron

Book cover image

Narrated By: Cathleen McCarron

Duration: 14 hours and 50 minutes

What to expect

‘Gripping and moving. A literary triumph’ Nicola Sturgeon

‘A humane and searching story’ Ian Rankin

‘Kirstin Innes is aiming high, writing for readers in the early days of a better nation’ A.L. Kennedy

A NEW STATESMAN BOOK OF THE YEARA SCOTSMAN BOOK OF THE YEAR

Three days before her fifty-first birthday Clio Campbell – one-hit wonder, political activist, lifelong love and one-night-stand – kills herself in her friend Ruth’s spare bedroom. And, as practical as she is, Ruth doesn’t know what to do.

As the news spreads around Clio’s collaborators and comrades, lovers and enemies, the story of her glamorous, chaotic life spreads with it – from the Scottish Highlands to the Genoa G8 protests, from an anarchist squat in Brixton to Top of the Pops. Sifting through half a century of memories and unanswered questions, everyone who thought they know her is forced to ask: who was Clio Campbell?

Genre

Modern & contemporary fiction

Listen to a sample

‘Scottish fiction has a long history of state-of-the-nation novels that examine the collision of myth and reality. Think of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Alasdair Gray’s surreal fantasy Lanark or James Robertson’s sweeping epic And the Land Lay Still. To their ranks can now be added Scabby Queen … as complex, tragic and bewitching as the woman at its heart’ iNews

A life and death struggle of a book: wounded, angry, beautiful, righteous, beaten and triumphant’ A. L. Kennedy, author of Serious Sweet

Kirstin Innes is the queen of rebel women and her characters shine with deep, luminous humanity’ Emma Jane Unsworth, author of Adults

Totally immersive and gloriously polyphonic’ Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure

‘From its delectable title to its heart-swelling final pages, this book bursts with energy and chutzpahBig Issue

‘A fat, firecracker of a book … It’s about women and silence, oddballs and adventurers and stupid mistakes; about ‘no need to worry about me’ Scottishness and 'getting by’ as practised by every culture on earth. Best of all, it’s about joy and hope and the pressing need to seize the day while one can’ Janice Galloway, author of The Trick Is to Keep Breathing

‘Innes’s range is as wide as Clio’s passions … The supporting characters are vividly drawn, and Clio herself is always larger than life – This is an opportune state-of-the nation novel with a feminist heart.’ Guardian

'An absolute inspiration … Since I finished Scabby Queen I’ve found myself on many ocassions thinking “What would Clio do?” … Although the fictional Clio exist only in the patchwork memories of others, Kirstin Innes conjures a vivid portrayal of a creative, determined, fiery working-class woman.’ Scotsman