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Alasdair Gray is an old asthmatic Glaswegian who lives by painting, writing and book design. In addition to Lanark, he is author of Unlikely Stories Mostly, 1982 Janine, The Fall of Kelvin Walker, Lean Tales (with James Kelman and Agnes Owens), Old Negatives (verse), McGrotty & Ludmilla, Something Leather, Why Scots Should Rule Scotland, Poor Things, The Ends of our Tethers and A Life in Pictures.
Author illustration © Alasdair Gray
Containing sixteen tales that were published in 1983 with the title Unlikely Stories, Mostly, this collection also includes fifty-seven tales from later books, as well as sixteen new ones.
Gathering together every story he has written in a career spanning 60 years, as well as sixteen brand new tales and a host of illustrations, this is a landmark publication from one of Scotland’s greatest writers.
With an introduction by William Boyd who says, 'Lanark will leave its trace on your life', this is a work of extraordinary imagination and wide range, its playful narrative techniques convey a profound message, both personal and political, about humankind's inability to love, and yet our compulsion to go on trying. Widely recognised as a modern classic, Alasdair Gray's magnum opus was first published in 1981 and immediately established him as one of Britain's leading writers. Comparisons have been made to Dante, Blake, Joyce, Orwell, Kafka, Huxley and Lewis Carroll. This timely new edition should cement his reputation as one of our greatest living writers.
Mungo McGrotty's career in Whitehall is going nowhere. But when he finds the mysterious (and deadly) Harbinger Report, he realises he can blackmail his way to the very top. This twisted Grayian retelling of the Aladdin story under the Thatcher regime sees our hero rise from pawn to power. But at what cost?
It is the Swinging Sixties and Kelvin Walker has moved from Scotland to London to make his fortune. Through his wanton ambition, a megalomania surfaces that is unrelieved by his insensitive attempts at friendship and romance. Yet is he all bad, or are the true villains the establishment figures who he tricks and deceives? And, ultimately, does it matter? Gray's twist on the follies of religion, the media and the imperial British centre is as relevant now as ever.
40th anniversary edition 'Probably the greatest novel of the century' Observer Lanark, a modern vision of hell set in the disintegrating cities of Unthank and Glasgow, tells the interwoven stories of Lanark and Duncan Thaw. A work of extraordinary imagination, its playful narrative conveys a profound message, both personal and political, about humankind's inability to love, and yet our compulsion to go on trying. First published in 1981, Lanark established Alasdair Gray as one of Britain's leading writers and kick-started the modern renaissance of Scottish literature.
A man finds a bald patch on the back of his head that looks curiously like a face, then discovers he's splitting in two. A bored student suggests digging a tunnel into the foundations of the art school. An elderly man is healed by hundreds of tiny people working on repairs inside his own head. Unlikely Stories, Mostly is Alasdair Gray's first collection of short stories. Gloriously illustrated, darkly funny, and steeped in myth and fable, they capture Gray's singular imagination.
'Reveals Gray's powers of insight and invention' Guardian 'One of the most vital retellings of the poem to date' Spectator Dante, now guided by Beatrice, faces the final third of his epic journey through the wheels of divine justice. Yet as he passes through the spheres of Heaven, he struggles with his faith, striving to understand the scales of good and evil that determine the fate of a human soul. The final book from Alasdair Gray, Paradise is a fitting conclusion to his own irreplaceable body of work, as well as to his masterful retelling of Dante's trilogy.
In part two of La Divina Commedia, one of the masterpieces of world literature, Dante and his guide, the poet Virgil, must enter and traverse Purgatory and the seven deadly sins in their quest to reach Heaven. In this colloquial version of Dante's masterpiece, Alasdair Gray offers an original translation in his own unique idiom. Lyrical and modern, this remarkable edition yokes two great literary minds, seven hundred years apart, and brings the classic text alive for the twenty-first century.
In this frank, playful and typically unorthodox collection of essays, Alasdair Gray tells how his early life experiences influenced his writing, including the creation of those landmarks of literature, Lanark and 1982, Janine. He details the inspirations behind his many acclaimed artworks and murals, and makes clear how his moral, social and political beliefs and his work are inextricably linked. Incisive, funny and fired with passion, Of Me and Others is as much about people, place and politics as it is about Gray's own life in art.
Jock McLeish, failed husband, lover and businessman is alone in a hotel room, drinking whisky, fantasising about sex and contemplating suicide. As he tries to distance himself from reality, his lonely, alcohol-fuelled fantasies are interrupted by a flood of memories, reminding him of his own shortcomings. An unforgettably imaginative book, deeply experimental in its form and charged with a dark humour, 1982, Janine is a searing portrait of male need and inadequacy. Gray's exploration of politics, religion, powerlessness and pornography has lost none of its power to shock and entertain.
One of the masterpieces of world literature, completed in 1320, Dante's La Divina Commedia describes his journey through Hell, Purgatory and his eventual arrival in Heaven. In this new version of Dante's masterpiece, Alasdair Gray offers an original translation in prosaic English rhyme. Accessible, modern and sublimely decorated, this remarkable edition told in three parts yokes two great literary minds, seven hundred years apart, and brings the classic text alive for the twenty-first century.
'Probably the greatest novel of the century' Observer 'Remarkable' William Boyd Lanark, a modern vision of hell, is set in the disintegrating cities of Unthank and Glasgow, and tells the interwoven stories of Lanark and Duncan Thaw. A work of extraordinary imagination and wide range, its playful narrative techniques convey a profound message, both personal and political, about humankind's inability to love, and yet our compulsion to go on trying. First published in 1981, Lanark immediately established Gray as one of Britain's leading writers.
Gray argues that a truly independent Scotland will only ever exist when people in every home, school, croft, farm, workshop, factory, island, glen, town and city feel that they too are at the centre of the world. Independence asks whether widespread social welfare is more possible in small nations such as Norway and New Zealand than in big ones like Britain and the U.S.A. It describes the many differences between Scotland and England. It examines the people who choose to live north of the border. It shows Scotland's relevance to the rest of the world. It attempts to conjure a vision of how a Scots parliament might benefit the people of this small but dynamic nation. And it tells how democracy will only truly succeed when every person believes that their vote will make a difference.
Alasdair Gray is Scotland's best known polymath. Born in 1934 in Glasgow, he graduated in design and mural art from the Glasgow School of Art in 1957. After decades of surviving by painting and writing TV and radio plays, his first novel, the loosely autobiographical, blackly fantastic Lanark, opened up new imaginative territory for such varied writers as Jonathan Coe, A.L. Kennedy, James Kelman, Janice Galloway and Irvine Welsh. It led Anthony Burgess to call him 'the most important Scottish writer since Sir Walter Scott'. His other published books include 1982 Janine, Poor Things (winner of the Whitbread Award), The Book of Prefaces, The Ends of our Tethers and Old Men in Love. In this book, with reproductions of his murals, portraits, landscapes and illustrations, Gray tells of his failures and successes which have led his pictures to be accepted by a new generation of visual artists.
Alasdair Gray is known throughout the world for his writing, but he is also a highly regarded artist who not only illustrates and designs his own books, but has created many beautiful and intriguing portraits, paintings, posters and murals. Alasdair started painting and writing from an early age, and in his seventies he's still vigorously doing both. In this autopictography he gathers together the work that has mattered most to him over the years, and weaves the story of his life through and around these pictures in his own unmistakable style. A beautifully and copiously illustrated book, designed by himself, this is life as seen by one of the millennium's most entertaining and wry creative geniuses.
Beautiful, inventive, ambitious and nuts. -The Times (London) Our nearest contemporary equivalent to Blake, our sweetest-natured screwed-up visionary. -London Evening Standard Alasdair Gray's unique melding of humor and metafiction at once hearken back to Laurence Sterne and sit beside today's literary mash-ups with equal comfort. Old Men in Love is smart, down-to-earth, funny, bawdy, politically inspired, dark, multi-layered, and filled with the kind of intertextual play that Gray delights in. As with Gray's previous novel Poor Things, several partial narratives are presented together. Here the conceit is that they were all discovered in the papers of the late John Tunnock, a retired Glasgow teacher who started a number of novels in settings as varied as Periclean Athens, Renaissance Florence, Victorian Somerset, and Britain under New Labour. This is the first US edition (updated with the author's corrections from the UK edition) of a novel that British critics lauded as one of the best of Gray's long career. Beautifully printed in two colors throughout and featuring Gray's trademark strong design, Old Men in Love will stand out from everything else on the shelf. Fifty percent is fact and the rest is possible, but it must be read to be believed. Alasdair Gray is one of Scotland's most well-known and acclaimed artists. He is the author of nine novels, including Lanark, 1982 Janine, and the Whitbread and Guardian Prize-winning Poor Things, as well as four collections of stories, two collections of poetry, and three books of nonfiction, including The Book of Prefaces. He lives in Glasgow, Scotland.
Men in Love, like The Arabian Nights, is about a storyteller whose stories contain other stories. As in Alasdair Gray's Lanark, 1982 Janine, Poor Things, and The Book of Prefaces, this one has many styles of narrative and location. Periclean Athens, Renaissance Florence, Victorian Somerset mingle with Britain under the New Labour Party, viewed from the West End of Glasgow. More than 50% is fact and the rest possible, but must be read to be believed.
A collection of some of Alasdair Gray's greatest works, this book includes samples of his long and short plays for stage, radio and television (acted between 1956 and 2009); an unperformed opera libretto; excerpts from the Lanark storyboard; and full film script of the novel Poor Things. With a range of Gray's dramatic works, this book is a great introduction to the portfolio of one of Scotland's most talented writers.
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