Tales From the Back Green

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Hodder & Stoughton, Aug 6, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 300 pages

When these captivating Tales from the Back Green were broadcast on BBC Radio they were described by The Herald as 'a vividly engaging portrait of a vanished city' and The Scotsman as 'an engaging series fondly and wittily rendered'.

Now published for the first time, actor Bill Paterson's stories brilliantly evoke his 1950s Glasgow boyhood. This is a world of intriguing characters and extraordinary events set against the background of the changes and challenges of the post-war era – the nuclear threat, the fading dominance of the kirk, Rock and Roll, the disappearance of the beloved trams, and why penny whoppers were not worth tuppence. As a young surveyor, Paterson was witness to the dramatic transformation of the city, as austere tenements were swept away to make way for new roads and high-rise blocks.

Tales From the Back Green is a brilliant realisation of childhood and youth; of memories Paterson describes as 'suspended in amber like Jurassic Park's mosquito, with its DNA still intact.' He wonders whether our memories change from grey to gold as the years pass - do we naturally recall our childhood as a time of optimism and hope?

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About the author (2009)

Bill Paterson was born in Glasgow. His theatre career includes being a founder member of 7:84 Theatre Company with the landmark production of The Cheviot, The Stag and the Black, Black Oil. Film and Television work includes Wives and Daughters, The Crow Road, The Witches, Truly Madly Deeply, Traffik, The Singing Detective, Aufweidersehn Pet, Comfort and Joy and The Killing Fields. He is a Fellow of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

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