Strong Women from Scottish Fiction

Women you wish you could be friends with IRL

Throughout history, society has placed certain expectations on women. Women were (and, even now, typically are) expected to be docile, quiet, cheerful, sweet, maternal, supportive, and endlessly self-sacrificing. But throughout history, there have been plenty of women who refused to toe the patriarchal line. They lived life on their own terms, and blazed a trail for the young women who came after them.

Most of them aren't famous; they're women much like the heroines of these books. Schoolteachers who imparted strength to their students; women who established careers in a time when 'housewife' was considered the only appropriate role, artists, prisoners who would not be beaten down and so many more. We dare you not to stand up and cheer at the stories of these amazing women.

5. The Secret Mandarin

Sara Sheridan
The Sopranos cover

6. The Sopranos

Alan Warner
Grace Notes

7. Grace Notes

Bernard MacLaverty
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

9. Sunset Song

Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Clara Cover

10. Clara

Janice Galloway

List created by

Author image
Sarah Barrie

Sarah is Scottish Book Trust's Website Manager