I am absolutely delighted that Clubbing Together has been selected as the winner of this year’s Saltire Society Research Book of the Year Award—my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Saltire Society and also my publisher, Liverpool University Press. Clubbing Together is my first book after the one stemming from my PhD, and, as such, writing it was an entirely different experience—one shaped by new freedoms, being liberated from the constraints of thesis regulations and requirements. Partly as a result of that freedom, I consider Clubbing Together a bolder book, one in which I pushed the boat out more in terms of developing my ideas about the meaning of diaspora and the evolution and function of Scottish ethnic associations around the world.
Seeing that ‘pushing out of the boat’ recognized by a Saltire Award is simply wonderful. That holds true all the more because the book is, and in no small part, a real labour of love—not only in terms of the writing process and finished book, but also because it has been shaped significantly by my experiences in present-day Scottish communities around the globe, by how they have welcomed me, and shared their family stories and materials with me. While these are not necessarily part of the book itself, they give my work, and therefore also this book, much deeper meaning. The Scots abroad who continue to ‘club together’ today also illustrate clearly the key message of my book: that while Scots, like other migrants, might, at times, have enjoyed wallowing in memories of the old home, their clubs and societies were much more than harbourers of nostalgia, developing distinct characteristics and roles that cannot be subsumed under one simplistic label—that of an overseas ‘national society’.
To celebrate the success, Liverpool University Press currently offers 40% off. Use the code CLUBBINGTOGETHER on the website.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Edinburgh as I am currently in Hong Kong for work. But I sent an electronic video message.