Other literary forms

(Survey of Novels and Novellas)

In the late 1960’s and the 1970’s, before he gained recognition as novelist, Alasdair Gray was known as a playwright and had several radio and television plays to his credit. He also wrote for the stage and drew upon these early dramatic works for several later novels. The television and stage play The Fall of Kelvin Walker (pr. 1972) and the radio play McGrotty and Ludmilla (1976) both became novellas, published individually as books under the same titles.

Gray also has written short stories, which are collected in several volumes. Less frequently he has produced poems and nonfiction, including the notable, and polemical, Why Scots Should Rule Scotland (1992). He edited an offbeat contribution to literary history called The Book of Prefaces: A Short History of Literate Thought in Words by Great Writers of Four Nations from the Seventh to the Twentieth Century (2000). As readers familiar with his novels might anticipate, The Book of Prefaces is typographically and visually adventurous, but also historically rigorous.