Warner is one of the late 20th century young Scottish writers who, led by Irvine Welsh, burst onto the scene in the late Nineties, with their angst-ridden novels of young Scots, trapped in dead-end lives and turning to sex’n’drugs’n’rock’n’roll to enable them to face their bleak outlook. The style in most of these novels is matter-of-fact, almost deadpan, as though the hopelessness, often mindless violence, early death (often by not always drug-related) and complete lack of a future were totally normal. It will be interesting to see whether they will last or if they will fade into sunset.
Alan Warner was born in 1964 in Oban. His parents ran a hotel in nearby Connel. Warner described Oban as philistine, patriarchal, sexist, violent. After school, he worked on the railways and then went to university in London and did his postgraduate thesis on Conrad at the University of Glasgow. He started writing poems and short stories before writing novels. He had considerable success with his first novel, Morvern Callar. He splits his time between Dublin and Javea, Spain.
Once upon a life: Alan Warner
Dream of the perfect novel (article by Warner)
Queerspotting (In contemporary Scottish literature, why is it suddenly cool to be queer?)
1995 Morvern Callar
1997 These Demented Lands
1998 The Sopranos
2002 The Man Who Walks
2006 The Worms Can Carry Me To Heaven
2010 The Stars in the Bright Sky
2012 The Deadman’s Pedal
2014 Their Lips Talk of Mischief
2015 Tago Mago: Permission to Dream
2021 Kitchenly 434
2023 Nothing Left To Fear From Hell