'Five stones underneath': Literary representations of the Lockerbie air disaster

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December 21st 2018 marked the 30th anniversary of the Lockerbie Air Disaster. Despite this lengthy passage of time, the case remains highly contentious and active. A quick search on the topic reveals a host of possible conspiracy theories and cover-ups, many conflicting narratives and possibilities, and, for many, a strong feeling that the sentencing of Abdelbasset al-Megrahi represented a miscarriage of justice. While there have been many political books and articles on Lockerbie, surprisingly to date there have been no scholarly papers on its literary representations. This article therefore considers the ways in which the Lockerbie Air Disaster has been considered in fiction, drama and poetry since 1988, surveying what has been published, as well as examining some of the motivations behind these. As will be demonstrated, some common threads run through these literary texts: namely, a frustration with the slowness of the ongoing criminal case and the perception that justice has still to be served. As will be demonstrated, many of the Lockerbie texts therefore contain inherent, politically-charged provocations, sending out reminders that many aspects of the case have still to be accounted for in the public domain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-353
Number of pages13
JournalCritique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction
Issue number3
Early online date20 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2020


  • Lockerbie air disaster
  • contemporary Scottish literature
  • 9/11
  • literature and terrorism


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