Press release

Check this out: graduate’s Tartan tale is a bestseller

Published on 19 May 2022

A part-time job working in a city kilt hire shop has helped a University of Dundee graduate spin a bestselling yarn of her own.

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Aldona Tüür completed her Masters in Writing Practice and Study in 2013 having worked in a local highland outfitter throughout her studies.

Since graduating, she has used her experience of living and working in the city as a basis for her first novel, Kilt Hire. After being published at the beginning of the year, the book has subsequently gone on to sell hundreds of copies in her native Lithuania, becoming one of the best-selling titles in the country.

“It is a novel of many perspectives,” says Aldona, who works as a communications officer at the Kaunas University of Technology,

“The central character is Eve, who works in a kilt hire shop like I did when I lived in Dundee, and follows her day-to-day experiences. There are so many different things that happen in that environment that it felt like a natural place to set my story, and the reader follows Eve on what I would call a journey of self-discovery.

“Studying and living in Dundee for three years allowed me to fall in love with the city and that made it easy to write about. There are many different parts to my novel, but I hope that my love for Dundee comes across to the readers.

“The book has had such a positive reaction here in Lithuania and that has been incredibly flattering.”

Aldona moved to Dundee in 2010 to undertake her Masters at the University, having been keen to further her skills as a writer. As well as developing her abilities as a creative writer, the course allowed her to explore the world of publishing, experience that has proven invaluable in her recent success. After her initial sales success in Lithuania, Aldona is hopeful that there may be demand for Kilt Hire to be published in English.

The scale of her success has seen her feature across media in her homeland, with interviews often featuring questions about Scotland’s national dress. However, despite her own attachment to the garment, Aldona is unsure as to whether her countryfolk are equally enamoured.  

“The main image of kilts comes Braveheart, or of football fans,” she continues.

“I think it is fantastic that Scotland features the kilt so prominently in its culture. Working in the shop taught me so much about kilts, about how they weren’t just in clan tartans and the accessories.

“For many people it is unthinkable to get married in anything else, and that is a beautiful thing. I’m not sure that they will catch on in Lithuania though!”

Enquiries

Jonathan Watson

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 381489

j.s.watson@dundee.ac.uk