Alasdair Gray: A Secretary's Biography

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Apr 5, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 352 pages
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Alasdair Gray, author of the modern classics Lanark, Poor Things and 1982, Janine, is without doubt Scotland's greatest living novelist. Since trying (unsuccessfully) to buy him a drink in 1998, Rodge Glass, first tutee and then secretary to the author, takes on the role of biographer, charting Gray's life from unpublished and unrecognised son of a box-maker to septuagenarian "little grey deity" (as Will Self has called him). A Jewish Mancunian Boswell to Gray's Johnson, Glass seamlessly weaves a chronological narrative of his subject's life into his own diary of meeting, getting to know and working with the artist, writer and campaigner, to create a vibrant and wonderfully textured portrait of a literary great.
  

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Contents

PREFACES
1
Old Family Old Friends Old Papers
30
Art
71
MARRIAGE FATHERHOOD FAKE DEMISE
85
Women Mostly III
111
A LIFE IN PRINTERS INK
160
Attention
196
Health
241
RECENT STATES
256
Current States
283
NOT DEAD YET A HAPPY ENDING OF SORTS
298
ENDNOTES AND CRITIC FUEL
316
Acknowledgements
332
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Rodge Glass is now a novelist (No Fireworks and Hope for Newborns, Faber, 2005 and 2008), but wasn't when he first encountered Gray in a Glasgow pub in 1998. Since then, while pursuing his own writing ambitions, he has filled many roles in the life of the writer/artist. He has taken dictation whenever and wherever asked: whether Gray is in bed, in hospital or drinking soup cold from the can, he is there with a pad or a laptop, awaiting instructions. He has been barman, tutee, secretary, signature forger, driver, researcher, advisor, chief technology negotiator, tea-maker and paper boy, with varying degrees of success. In this book Glass attempts one more role - biographer. Born in Manchester, he lives in Glasgow.

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