The Edinburgh Companion to Irvine Welsh


Enfant terrible of Scottish letters and subcultural scion of devolutionary protest and rebellion, Irvine Welsh has become known as the founding father of a groundbreaking tradition in post-devolution Scottish writing. The unprecedented worldwide success of Trainspotting, magnified by Danny Boyle's iconic film, revolutionized Scottish culture and radically remade the country's image from dreamy romantic hinterland to agitated metropolitan hotbed. Although Welsh's career is still taking shape, his influence on contemporary Scottish literary history is indisputable. This volume covers all of Welsh's fiction, as well as his dramatic work for the stage and for television, and features a detailed analysis of Danny Boyle's film. It tracks the author's critical and popular reception at home, abroad, and overseas, and questions the popular cult and mainstream hype surrounding his work. Issues of class, subculture, nationhood, gender, and narrative experimentation are tied to broader developments, such as devolution and globalization, within contemporary Scottish, British, and world culture. The book also examines Welsh's relationships to other writers, both Scottish and non-Scottish, and his contentious position within the Scottish literary canon. All in all, this guide merges a critical assessment of Walsh's work with an analysis of the writer and his phenomenon.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Berthold Schoene
  • Alice Ferrebe
  • Matt McGuire
  • David Borthwick
  • Duncan Petrie
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Edinburgh
Publication year:
  • 2010


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