Day 49, No. 49. Irvine Welsh

Irvine WelshHAIRCUT 100: Day 49, No. 49. Irvine Welsh: Scottish novelist, playwright, screenwriter, director, and short story writer. The son of a dock worker and a waitress from Leith, Welsh rose to prominence with the publication of the edgy and iconic Trainspotting in 1993. Trainspotting introduced many of the themes common to his subsequent work, most notably: social class, council housing, drugs, sectarianism, sex, music, and Scottish identity, the novel celebrating the language and humour of the Scots through an idiomatic narrative in the tradition of A Clockwork Orange and Finnegans Wake. In a brutal and authentic landscape, Welsh’s work also seems to explore the possibility of individual redemption, leading the literary journalist Sam Leith to conclude that ‘He’s much more interested in teleology than sociology.’ Looking back, Welsh’s breakthrough was part of a renaissance in British culture in the early-90s, the fag-end of Thatcherism, that included Britpop and the so-called ‘Young British Artists,’ producing cool and confrontational art in the punk tradition, with some of its finest practitioners coming, like Welsh, from the working classes. ‘I grew up in a place where everybody was a storyteller, but nobody wrote…’

Trainspotting (1993)

The Acid House (1994)

Marabou Stork Nightmares (1995)

Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance (1996)

Filth (1998)

Glue (2001)

Porno (2002)

The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs (2006)

If You Liked School You’ll Love Work (2007)

Crime (2008)

Reheated Cabbage (2009)

Skagboys (2012)

The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins (2014)

A Decent Ride (2015)

The Blade Artist (2016)

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