Reading Scotland: Graeme Armstrong, Welcome tae Airdrie

In the former industrial heartlands of North Lanarkshire, Graeme Armstrong’s urgent debut novel The Young Team pulls back the curtain on the lives of young men as they navigate the friendship, turf wars and stereotypes of Scottish masculinity. Based on Armstrong’s experiences of growing up in Airdrie, and written in Scots, The Young Team is a once in a generation novel that captures the heart and the pain of an often-forgotten part of Scotland. Seen through the eyes of Azzy Williams aged 14, 18 and 21 years old, the internal desires to belong but also to escape are palpable. As part of our Reading Scotland series, Armstrong worked with filmmaker James Price to create a short film, screened for the first time at this event, live at the 2021 Edinburgh International Book Festival. The film aims to capture the atmosphere of The Young Team and reveals the environs and people of Airdrie. Following the screening, Armstrong discusses his book with chair Casi Dylan.

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