joined the Royal Army Service Corps in 1919 and from 1923 to 1929 he was a clerk in the RAF. The army offered him opportunities to travel which resulted in various works written under his own name, including The Calends of Cairo (1931). He also published fiction under the same name, including Stained Radiance (1930), his first novel. He is now remembered principally for his trilogy A Scots Quair (1946). It consists of Sunset Song (1932), Cloud Howe (1933), and Grey Granite (1934), novels which relate the life of Chris Guthrie from girlhood on her father's farm, through three marriages, the First World War, the Depression, her son's commitment to the Communist Party, etc. They were written in a powerful, idiosyncratic, lyrical prose, with a highly personal use of Scottish dialect and archaisms, and the plot abounds in lurid and violent incident. Sunset Song was hailed as the first really Scottish novel since Galt.