Milngavie author books her place on Scottish top 50 list

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Popular Milngavie author Agnes Owens has made it onto a top 50 shortlist which aims to find the nation’s favourite Scottish book.

Agnes worked as a cleaner, typist and factory worker before she became a writer.

She was born and grew up in Milngavie, was married twice and raised seven children.

Her chosen novel ‘Gentlemen of the West’ is listed alongside books by a distinguished group of authors from the past 50 years, including Iain Banks, Irvine Welsh, Muriel Spark, Alasdair Gray and Kate Atkinson.

The shortlist has been compiled by author and critic Stuart Kelly in collaboration with Scottish Book Trust. Agnes’ other books include ‘People Like That’ and ‘For the Love of Willie’, which was shortlisted for the 1998 Stakis Prize. Her short stories have also appeared alongside those of her friends and fellow authors James Kelman and Alasdair Gray, in Lean Tales.

Bad Attitudes, which consists of two novellas (‘Bad Attitudes’ and ‘Jen’s Party’), was longlisted for the 2003 Saltire Literary Awards.

Agnes began writing by joining a writers’ group led by Liz Lochhead in Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire.

Her series of novels were noted for their accomplishment, humour and powers of observation.

Stuart Kelly said: “Choosing only 50 books from the last 50 years - half a century which has seen major innovations and developments in the Scottish novel was never going to be uncontroversial.

“I’m grateful to Scottish Book Trust for their assistance in compiling this list, which combines the well- known with the idiosyncratic, the famous and the unjustly forgotten.

“Hopefully it will help readers discover new favourites and revisit old ones.”

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