Scottish independence: Gray’s ‘controversial’ book

THE publishers of a new book on the prospect of independence by Alasdair Gray, one of Scotland’s most outspoken artists, have pledged it will be “guaranteed to generate controversy” next summer.

The renowned Scots artist has already sparked controversy over his views. Picture: Jane Barlow

Alasdair Gray’s book is due to be released in June by Edinburgh-based Canongate, just three months before the nation’s fate will be decided.

It is described by Canongate as “his vision of what an independent Scotland might look like and explores topics such as the differences between Scotland and England, Scotland’s relevance to the rest of the world and how a Scots parliament might benefit its population”.

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Gray, who turns 80 next year, is being honoured with a major exhibition at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, one of several celebratory events being staged across the city.

This time last year Gray found himself embroiled in controversy over his Settlers and Colonists essay, part of a new collection on independence, in which he railed against the appointment of non-Scots to high-profile positions in the arts in Scotland.

Francis Bickmore, publishing director at Canongate, said Gray’s book was “a rigorous investigation on the history and future of independence penned by one of our foremost thinkers, writers and cultural figures, rather than by a politician”.

He added: “Whichever side of the debate you fall on, Alasdair’s book will be a must-read.”