Alasdair Gray deserves tributes – Angus Robertson

This Hogmanay raise a glass to Alasdair Gray. The author and artist, who has been one of Scotland’s cultural giants, died aged 85 on Sunday.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 11:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 11:38 am
Alasdair Gray had one of Scotland's finest creative minds. Picture: John Devlin

Fellow writers have been quick to pay glowing tributes. Ian Rankin said: “His books were beautiful, they were crafted, they were elegant. He had a sense of fun, he was mischievous, he had this huge intellect but he was a ‘lad of pairts’ – he could do a little bit of everything and he did it all well.”

Irvine Welsh said: “Alasdair Gray was a unique talent. In Lanark and 1982, Janine especially, he wrote two of the greatest Scottish novels and influenced a creative generation. RIP”.

Gray was a lifelong supporter of Scottish independence and in the run-up to the 2014 Scottish referendum wrote Independence - How We Should Rule Ourselves.

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is a passionate book reader herself, said: “Such sad news. Alasdair Gray was one of Scotland’s literary giants, and a decent, principled human being. He’ll be remembered best for the masterpiece that is Lanark, but everything he wrote reflected his brilliance. Today, we mourn the loss of a genius and think of his family”.

A good New Year’s resolution for 2020 would be to pick up one of Alasdair Gray’s books, like Lanark, and (re)acquaint yourself with of one Scotland’s finest creative minds.