Jessie Kesson Short Stories

Episodes

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01Country Dweller's Year20140907

The first in a series of readings from the work of the acclaimed Scottish author Jessie Kesson. Best known for her novels "Another Time, Another Place" and "The White Bird Passes", Jessie Kesson's writing was often inspired by events from her own life and by the landscape of North East Scotland.

Tonight, extracts from her "Country Dwelller's Year", first published in monthly instalments in the Scots Magazine during 1946. These finely honed observations of the natural world and the rhythms of the farming year were written when Jessie Kesson and her husband lived in Morayshire as cottar farm workers.

Glossary:

Cottar - farm labourer who occupies a cottage in return for their services

Howe - low-lying land

Orra loon - a lad employed to do miscellaneous unskilled work

Hairst - harvest

Jessie Kesson (1916 - 1994) was a prolific writer of novels, poems, stories, newspaper features and radio plays. She came through a hard start in life (born in the Inverness workhouse, raised in an Elgin slum, removed from her neglectful but much-loved mother to an orphanage in Aberdeenshire) with a passionate determination to be a writer. She combined a successful writing career with a variety of jobs, from cleaner to artist's model, and was a social worker for nearly twenty years, settling finally in London with her husband.

The full text of "Country Dweller's Year" is published by Kennedy & Boyd as "A Country Dweller's Years: Nature Writings By Jessie Kesson", edited and introduced by Professor Isobel Murray.

Reader - Claire Knight

Writer - Jessie Kesson

Abridger - Kirsteen Cameron

Producer - Kirsteen Cameron.

02Cold In Coventry20140914

The second in a series of readings from the work of the acclaimed Scottish author Jessie Kesson. Best known for her novels "Another Time, Another Place" and "The White Bird Passes", Jessie Kesson's writing was often inspired by events from her own life and by the landscape of North East Scotland.

Tonight, a poignant short story that evokes a young orphan girl's fears for her future when she returns 'In Disgrace' from her first job in service, to face the formidable Madam Superintendent of the Training Institution for Destitute Girls.

Jessie Kesson (1916 - 1994) was a prolific writer of novels, poems, stories, newspaper features and radio plays. She came through a hard start in life (born in the Inverness workhouse, raised in an Elgin slum, removed from her neglectful but much-loved mother to an orphanage in Aberdeenshire) with a passionate determination to be a writer. She combined a successful writing career with a variety of jobs, from cleaner to artist's model, and was a social worker for nearly twenty years, settling finally in London with her husband.

Reader - Lizzy Watts

Abridger - Kirsteen Cameron

Producer - Kirsteen Cameron.

03 LASTUntil Such Times20140921

The final story in our series of readings from the work of the acclaimed Scottish author Jessie Kesson. Best known for her novels "Another Time, Another Place" and "The White Bird Passes", Jessie Kesson's writing was often inspired by events from her own life and by the landscape of North East Scotland.

Tonight's story is a beautiful evocation of a child's struggle to make sense of the adult world around her. Her unmarried mother, whom she calls "Aunt" Ailsa, is unable to provide a home for her and she has been sent to the countryside to live with her grandparents. There is one instance of strong language.

Jessie Kesson (1916 - 1994) was a prolific writer of novels, poems, stories, newspaper features and radio plays. She came through a hard start in life (born in the Inverness workhouse, raised in an Elgin slum, removed from her neglectful but much-loved mother to an orphanage in Aberdeenshire) with a passionate determination to be a writer. She combined a successful writing career with a variety of jobs, from cleaner to artist's model, and was a social worker for nearly twenty years, settling finally in London with her husband.

Reader - Helen Mackay

Abridger - Kirsteen Cameron

Producer - Kirsteen Cameron.