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Unlikely Stories, Mostly


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About the Author

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 from the Saltire Society. He died in December 2019, aged eighty-five.


Unsettling, otherworldly . . . Not since William Blake has a British artist wed pictorial and literary talent to such powerful effect
* * Financial Times * *

His work is masterly . . . Temperamental radicalism, militant humanism and a number of recurring sexual, linguistic and aesthetic themes are woven together into a prose full of recondite allusions and brilliant innovations
* * London Review of Books * *

As you'd expect from a writer as talented as Gray, there are enough idiosyncratic pleasures knocking around to make the book well worth reading
* * Independent * *

A series of fantastical fables, showing the influence of Kafka, Swift and Johnson's Rasselas . . . Memorable
* * Guardian * *

A necessary genius

One of the brightest intellectual and creative lights Scotland has known in modern times

Gray is a true original, a twentieth century William Blake
* * Observer * *

Too clever for its own good in parts, but otherwise a damned good read
* * Simla Times" * *

This anthology may be likened to a vast architectural folly imblending the idioms of the Greek, Gothic, Oriental, Baroque, Scottish Baronial and Bauhaus schools. Like one who, absently sauntering the streets of Barcelona, suddenly beholds the breathtaking grandeur of Gaudi's Familia Sagrada, I am compelled to admire a display of power and intricacy whose precise purpose evades me. Is the structure haunted by a truth too exalted and ghostly to dwell in a plainer edifice? Perhaps. I wonder. I doubt
* * The Celtic Needlewoman" * *

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