Meeting Alan Bissett

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Alan Bissett is a Scottish author and playwright (and voted the 46th hottest man in Scotland). When he entered the classroom for his lecture for the literary society, he did so with the swagger and confidence of an actor. He is unapologetically Scottish, sporting a tartan tie to match his thick Falkirk accent. Though at first glance he doesn’t appear particularly “hot” the minute he begins reading it becomes clear why he won his title.  His eyes are constantly wrinkled in a smile and his demeanor is nothing short of adorable. He first reads from his novel Death of a Lady’s Man about a male schoolteacher.  He opens the book to the correct page but does not glance at it for the remainder of the lecture. Turns out he memorized the whole section he was going to read and performed it like a play. “Some authors would consider it vulgar what I’m doing, acting out my prose, but I find it’s a whole lot less borin’. You can’t expect a bunch of people to come and listen to ye when you’re dull.”  Could I understand everything he said? No. But the performance aspect kept me entirely engaged.

Alan Bissett has written several plays including The Red Hourglass, a play consisting of several monologues performed by Spiders. Alan played all of these characters including a southern belle black widow, a Scottish house spider, a Woody Allenish brown recluse from New York City, and a swaggering South American tarantula. As if he wasn’t versatile enough, he also wrote a play dealing with gender and class issues, the Moira Monologues.  Bissett is a self-proclaimed feminist and a political activist.

The next thing he read was a piece about Scottish Independence. Bissett in addition to his literary pursuits is also a big participant in the movement for an independent Scotland. As an American, I’ll be honest I know very little about the topic. Living in this country has exposed me to Scottish and British culture together and they could not be more different.

I bought his book Death of a Lady’s Man and he gave me a discount so my respect and adoration redoubled. Moral of the story, I love meeting and chatting with a genuine Scottish writer, and yes, one of Scotland’s sexiest men.

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