Alasdair Gray was born in Riddrie, Glasgow in 1934. His father worked in factory making cardboard boxes. During World War II, he, his mother and sister were moved to other parts of the country, before the whole family moved to Yorkshire where his father ran a hostel for munitions workers. After the war they returned to Glasgow but his father was unable to find skilled work. Because of his asthma, Gray did not take part in physical activities and spent his time reading and drawing. He attended Glasgow School of Art and then went to teacher training college. At this time he also became involved in nuclear disarmament activities. He started working as a teacher but then became a scene painter. He did get some recognition after a BBC documentary on him but still struggled financially till Lanark was accepted in 1978 and published three years later. The book had considerable success and though 1982, Janine also had success and is his own favourite of his books, he has not repeated the success of his first novel.
Books about Alasdair Gray