A Life in Four Books

Alasdair Gray

But I do enjoy words—some words—for their own sake! Words like river, and dawn, and daylight, and time. These words seem much richer than our experiences of the things they represent
Lanark by Alasdair Gray (Hardback ISBN 9781838852900) book cover

Available as Hardback, Paperback, eBook

40th anniversary commemorative hardback edition of the modern classic

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.

“Probably the greatest novel of the century … It marked the beginning of a new era”

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“One of the landmarks of twentieth-century fiction … Lanark changed the landscape of Scottish fiction, opening up the imaginative territory inhabited today by writers such as A.L. Kennedy, James Kelman and Irvine Welsh”

“One of the seminal works of Scottish literature, a book credited with kick-starting Scotland’s literary renaissance”
sunday Times

“At times exuberant, at times despairing, always vivid … Urban and wholly contemporary, yet suffused with the past … Lanark , in common with all great books, is still, and always will be, an act of resistance. It is part of the system of whispers and sedition and direct communion, one voice to another, we call literature”
Janice Galloway

“This extraordinary masterpiece … is profoundly perceptive about the ways in which our society is destroying itself. Yet it manages to be funny and is written in a beautifully lucid prose”
times Literary Supplement

Alasdair Gray

Born in 1934, Alasdair Gray graduated in design and mural painting from the Glasgow School of Art. Since 1981, when Lanark was published by Canongate, he authored, designed and illustrated seven novels, several books of short stories, a collection of his stage, radio and TV plays and a book of his visual art, A Life in Pictures. In November 2019, he received a Lifetime Achievement award by the Saltire Society. He died in December 2019, aged eighty-five.