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Edinburgh Writers – Irvine Welsh

27/04/2016

Irvine Welsh has been described as “Poet Laureate of the chemical generation” and his fiction has been lapped up ever since his debut Trainspotting was released.

He was born in 1961 in the Leith area of Edinburgh and moved with his family to Muirhouse when he was just four. He worked as a TV repairman for some time before moving between different jobs. He left Edinburgh for London in the late 1970s and was heavily influenced by the punk scene, singing and playing guitar in The Public Lice and Stairway 13. He worked in London throughout the 1980s but came back to Edinburgh once again and studied for an MBA at Heriot Watt University.

In 1993 Trainspotting was published and Welsh first became known for writing about the Edinburgh drug scene. By 1996 the novel had been transformed into a huge hit film by Danny Boyle, starring both Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle. He continued in the same vein with much of his fiction with a short story collection The Acid House published in 1994 and his second novel Marabou Stork Nightmares published in 1995. Welsh continued to mix it up between short fiction and novels with his next released Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance released in 1996 and Filth, his third novel published in 1998. In total Welsh has published ten novels to date as well as four short story collections and many screenplays and film scripts. His most recent novels were The Sex Lives of Siamese Twins and A Decent Ride and throughout his career Welsh has continued to write about his hometown and Scotland in general, becoming particularly famous for writing in dialect.

Many of Welsh’s works have been adapted for the screen and stage, with Ecstasy, Glue, Filth, Trainspotting and Marabou Stork Nights transformed into stage plays and The Acid House and Ecstasy joining Trainspotting as films.

As well as literature Welsh has branched into film and is a partner in two different film production companies, one of which is 4Way Picture which combines the talents of director Antonia Bird, actor Robert Carlyle and Mark Cousins.

Welsh is prolific on social media and he currently lives in Dublin but often heads out the Miami for winters and spends a lot of time visiting Edinburgh too, especially as a loyal fan of Hibernian FC.

Irvine Welsh’s next novel is due to be published in April this year and is called The Blade Artist.

The Royal Scots Club

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