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.
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.
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.