Sandstone Press, based in the Highlands, will publish a book titled Women Hold Up Half the Sky – a quote from Mao Zedong, who ruled China from 1949 until his death in 1976 – a hardback which will include a collection of addresses from Nicola Sturgeon “given between November 2014, when she took office, and February 2020, after Scotland’s exit from the European Union,” according to the publisher.
Edited by Robert Davidson, founder of Sandstone and an active SNP supporter, the book is scheduled to be published on 10 May, four days after the Scottish Parliamentary elections.
The independent publisher has received more than £410,000 since 2006 in grants from Creative Scotland, a Scottish government body funding the arts, according to The Times.
The book’s synopsis says it is being published “independently of the SNP and the Scottish government” and “the collection focuses on the importance of good government and Scotland’s place in the world.”
It added: "The speeches were delivered in locations between California and Beijing, in venues as different as the World Bank in New York and the Pearce Institute in Govan. Taken together they show a side of Nicola Sturgeon that is too often missed in public discourse.
"Thoughtful, progressive, compassionate, as well as passionately committed to the cause of Scottish independence, she is as pragmatic on matters of economic strategy as she is progressive on social issues."
Maurice Golden, the Scottish Conservative shadow culture secretary, responded to news of the book saying: “We know there have been growing concerns about the SNP’s creeping attempt to influence and control all spheres of Scottish public life, including arts and culture. It is a favoured tactic of nationalists the world over and I applaud those in Scotland who identify it and call it out.
“I hope that is not what we are seeing here. However, it’s notable that the only publishers who see commercial value in Sturgeon speeches have been in receipt of significant sums of public money through an SNP government quango.”