The cult classic Scottish novel of dreamlike fantasy and psychological realism: “a work of loving and vivid imagination, yielding copious riches” (The Times Literary Supplement).
From its first publication in 1981, Alasdair Gray’s Lanark was hailed as a masterpiece, inspiring Anthony Burgess to proclaim Gray the most important Scottish novelist since Walter Scott. With its echoes of Dante, Blake, Joyce, Kafka, and Lewis Carroll, Lanark has been published around the world to unanimous acclaim.
A man wakes up on a train with no memory and seashells in his pockets. He finds himself arriving in a peculiar place called Unthank—where the sun only comes up part-way and the inhabitants are prone to disappearing. He names himself Lanark and soon encounters a gallery of characters who suffer from joblessness, alienation, and strange maladies. The novel’s time-shifting narrative then draws readers into Lanark’s former life in Glasgow as it explores its twin themes of humankind’s inability to love and our compulsion to go on trying.
This edition of Lanark features an introduction by the award-winning novelist Janice Galloway, as well as “Gray’s Tailpiece,” a fascinating addendum to the novel.
“It was time Scotland produced a shattering work of fiction in the modern idiom. This is it.” —Anthony Burgess, author of A Clockwork Orange
“A quite extraordinary achievement, the most remarkable thing in Scottish fiction for a very long time.” —Scotsman