Alasdair Gray: out now!

Thu 10 Jun 2010 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

At last! We have copies, the author (post office willing) will soon have his copies, lovely people who pre-ordered theirs have their copies, NPR got their copies (and one of our local stations, WBUR, has reprinted that review), NYTimes, and so on, all have their copies, everyone can get copies of Alasdair Gray’s latest novel Old Men in Love: John Tunnock’s Posthumous Papers. Reviewers? Want a copy? Drop us a line!

Fun coming up: Alasdair will be interviewed online. More on that if and when it happens. And, for the nonce, here’s an interview from October on the center of all things internet, The Rumpus.

Also, you can read an excerpt on Scribd. (No, there will not be an ebook although we’ll talk more to Alasdair about that later.)

This book was awesome to publish: not just because I’ve been reading Alasdair’s books for years but it was great to deal with Alasdair—and his lovely secretary, Helen—when things went pear-shaped with the Bloomsbury files. Weeks disappeared. Weeks! But it has (almost!) all come out ok in the end.

One of the parts that was easiest about publishing this book was the flap copy because the UK edition already had copy written by Will Self so we’ll post it here just for all yous:


Alasdair Gray’s new novel, Old Men in Love, exhibits all of those faintly preposterous foibles that make him a writer more loved than prized. The bulk of the text constitutes the posthumous papers of a recondite – yet venal – retired Glaswegian schoolmaster, named John Tunnock (as in the celebrated tea cake), that have, seemingly, been edited and collated by Gray himself.

This literary subterfuge serves to fool no one who needs fooling, yet will satisfy all who believe that the truth can be found more exactly in chance occurrences, serendipity, and the eggy scrapings from the breakfast plates of the neglected, than any crude, linear naturalism.

Tunnock is a beguiling figure, at once feisty and fusty. His historical fictions chivvy us into Periclean Athens, Renaissance Italy and then bury our noses in the ordure of sanctity given off by charismatic Victorian religious sectaries. Excursions into geological time are placed in counterpoint to diaristic jottings describing Tunnock’s own erotic misadventures and the millennial trivia of the Anthony Linton Blair Government’s final five years.

Only Gray can be fecklessly sexy as well as insidiously sagacious. Only Gray can beguile quite so limpidly. If I were a Hollywood screenwriter (which, to the best of my knowledge, I am not), I would pitch the film adaptation of Old Men in Love thus: ‘Imagine Lanark meets Something Leather, with a kind of Poor Things feel to it…’ By this I mean to convey to this novel’s readers that Alasdair Gray remains, first and foremost, entirely sui generis. He’s the very best Alasdair Gray that we have, and we should cherish his works accordingly.


Get your copy here!


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