Cymro 1: Louise Welsh
Our first Welsh with local connections is novelist Louise Welsh. Ms Welsh seems to have moved around a bit, and now apparently lives in Glasgow, but she’s also an alumnus of Craigmount High School. Her Corstorphine connections don’t feature at all in her personal online biography or her Wikipedia entry. (Not that you should trust a word Wikipedia says!)
It seems Louise Welsh peaked early. Her first novel, The Cutting Room won her great critical acclaim from most of the major British broadsheets, and was nominated for the Orange Prize. Her second major work Tamburlaine Must Die based on the life of Christopher Marlowe received mixed reviews (see here). She has produced a number of short stories, and several novels since, but none of these seem to have gained the same level of attention as The Cutting Room.
Louise Welsh was also involved in (the now defunct?) Nerve magazine,* and seems to have been writer-in-residence at several locations in Glasgow.
Cymro 2: Irvine Welsh
Our second Welsh is Irvine Welsh. He needs little introduction. Like Louise Welsh, he too has moved around – Dublin, Chicago, Miami – to name but a few. He’s never lived in this part of town as far as I know, and many readers would associate him more with Leith and Muirhouse.
Quite a few local landmarks feature in Irvine Welsh’s novels – The Centurion Bar on St John’s Road, South Gyle Station etc. Areas mentioned in Irvine Welsh’s novels and short stories include – Clermiston, Drumbrae, Murrayfield, as well as nearby Stenhouse and Sighthill.
In fact, it’s actually pretty difficult for me to think of another writer who mentions this area as much as Irvine Welsh – apart from Ian Rankin.
* Not to be confused with a magazine of the same name based in Merseyside.
The cover images provided are under “fair use”. I do not own the copyright on it, and trust that the authors, illustrators and publishers shall understand is used in good faith.