Irvine Welsh

Edinburgh-born author of the quintessential 90s novel, Trainspotting...

27/09/1958 -

Irvine Welsh biography and information

Often clumsily pigeon-holed as the "Poet Laureate of the chemical generation", Irvine Welsh was born in Edinburgh in 1961 and grew up on the notorious Muirhouse housing estate in the West of Edinburgh. It is a place that has continued to provide inspiration for characters and storylines in his writing; all the way through to his short story collection, If You Liked School, You'll Love Work.

After moving to London in the late '70s, Welsh spent ten years dabbling in punk rock and hard drugs and then returned to Scotland at the end of the '80s, where he worked for Edinburgh Council, completed an MBA at Heriot-Watt University and started to write.

His debut work, The Acid House, which arguably contains some of his most imaginative and accomplished writing to date, was published 1994. This critically acclaimed short-story collection mixed fantasy with in-yer-face realism and was turned into a film in 1998, in which Welsh himself appeared as a park keeper.

Later the same year Irvine Welsh produced his first novel, Trainspotting, a harrowing and bleakly hilarious tale of the life and adventures of heroin addict Mark Renton and his band of friends, Begbie, Spud and Sick Boy. This is widely acknowledged as a work of enormous power and resonance, that goes far beyond the parochial confines of its fictional world to address universal themes, articulated in a raw, untamed voice that was entirely new to Scottish, and indeed English literature. It has been hugely influential in the development of Scottish literature since its publication. The novel became a massively successful film and turned Welsh into a figurehead for British youth culture, further confirmed when he teamed up with Primal Scream to record the Scottish Football Team's unofficial anthem for Euro 96.

Welsh's second novel, Marabou Stork Nightmares, regarded by some as his best work, was published in 1995 and was quickly followed by Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance (1996), Filth (1998), a violent stage play, You'll Have Had Your Hole (1998), and a TV film, Dockers (1999), about the Liverpool Docks strike. Glue followed in 2001, telling the story of four boys growing up in a working class district of Edinburgh, and was relatively well received.

Porno, a long awaited follow-up to Trainspotting was published in August 2002. The novel catches up with the nefarious career of Simon 'Sick Boy' Williamson, ten years after the action in Trainspotting, back in his native Edinburgh after a long spell in London. He followed this up with The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs and the short story collection, If You Liked School, You'll Love Work.

Similar authors to Irvine Welsh

Alan WarnerNiall Griffiths and Chuck Palahniuk.

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Books by Irvine Welsh

The People's City
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Trainspotting
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Dead Men's Trousers
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Filth
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Skagboys
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Porno
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The Blade Artist
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Glue
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A Decent Ride
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Rave
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Reheated Cabbage
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4 Play
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Crime
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The Acid House
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Trainspotting
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