Document 1007

Review of "Buddha Da" (Anne Donovan)

Author(s): Liz Niven

Copyright holder(s): Liz Niven


"Buddha Da" by Anne Donovan pub Canongate ISBN 1 84195 338 5 £9.99

A Glaswegian painter getting involvit in Buddhism micht no seem a likely subjeck maitter fir a novel, in fack it’s a gey astonishin idea, bit it works an it works weel.

When Jimmie sterts tae seek oot the weys o the Lamas and the peace o meditation, ither things hae tae tak a back seat: his drinkin, his meat eatin and his conjugals wi Liz his lang-sufferin wife.As faur as his dochter Anne Marie is concernit, there’s nae wey she’s gan tae a Meditation Centre wi him as she’d, ‘miss Who Wants to be a Millionaire.’

There’s humour aw through ‘Buddha Da’ – moistly o verra gentle sort bit ayeweys addin tae the central themes an issues gan oan throu the buik, that is, the quest for happiness, the wheen weys possible.

At first, when Anne Marie is dispairin o her Da taken up this new hobby, she can mak licht o it, as in when her Mum, Liz, tells Jimmie,

‘Just watch they don’t brainwash you.’ Anne Marie’s response is, ‘They’d need tae find a brain first.’

Howanever, later, as Jimmie becomes mair an mair engrossit in the trappins o Buddhism tae sic an extent he leaves the faimilie hame tae live at the Centre, Anne Marie’s return tae the scuil efter the Christmas holidays casts a shadda ower her thochts. Whit will she tell her pals aboot her holidays? ‘…oh yeah, ma da left hame, by the way. Aye, stayin round the Buddhist Centre noo.’

The buik skillfully moves aroon in the heids an vyces o the three central folk, Jimmie, Liz an Anne Marie. Aw thir vyces ur exactklie as ye’d hear fae Weegies oan Glesca streets the day, an the authenticitie o the recordin shines oot.

This mergin o Glasgow an Zen, the fine parallel atween Karma, yer fate, an the time worn Scots idiom,’ whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye’, are explorit, as weel as the trappins an comparisons o Buddhism an Catholicism.

Add tae this a rich insicht intae mitherhood an faitherhood an the intricacies o paintin an decoratin. Oh an dinna forget, thir’s cutting a CD wi chantin Tibetan lamas owerset wi Indian lyrics an fragments fae the Catholic hymn ‘Salve Regina, mater misericordie’. Aw this an ye hae ‘Buddha Da’ -no tae be misst.

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The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Review of "Buddha Da" (Anne Donovan). 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 25 June 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Review of "Buddha Da" (Anne Donovan)." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 25 June 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Review of "Buddha Da" (Anne Donovan)," accessed 25 June 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1007

Review of "Buddha Da" (Anne Donovan)


Text audience

Adults (18+)
General public
Informed lay people
Audience size 100+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Word count 411

Text medium

Magazine (e-zine)

Text publication details

Publisher Lallans Magazine
Part of larger text
Contained in Lallans Magazine

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 19
Forenames Liz
Surname Niven
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1950
Educational attainment University
Age left school 17
Occupation Writer
Place of birth Glasgow
Region of birth Glasgow
Birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Dumfries
Region of residence E & Mid Dumfries
Residence CSD dialect area Dmf
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Gardener
Father's place of birth Glasgow
Father's region of birth Glasgow
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Seamstress
Mother's place of birth Glasgow
Mother's region of birth Glasgow
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Gsw
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes Work / home
French Yes Yes Yes Yes With French people / films
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes Work / home