A Life In Pictures

Alasdair Gray

I was learning that I could have what I wanted if it was in words, pictures or songs, which are the only dependable forms of magic.
A Life In Pictures by Alasdair Gray (Paperback ISBN 9781847671400) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook

The autobiography in words and pictures of one of Britain’s most fascinating and acclaimed writers and artists, Alasdair Gray

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.

“Gray is a true original, a twentieth century William Blake”

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“Surely there is no more handsome book published this year”

A truly remarkable visual and literary biography … [from] Glasgow’s resident genius”

“Marvellous … a pleasure to hold and well as to read”
times Literary Supplement

“A detailed and wonderfully realised ‘autopictography’, it reveals the idiosyncratic genius of a man who has come to embody all that’s good about artistic cross-pollination and creative thinking”
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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.

Alasdair Gray interviewed by the BBC in 2007 on his introduction to art and books.

The trailer for A Life in Progress: a feature length documentary on Alasdair Gray, filmed over the course of fifteen years.