Alasdair Gray

Alasdair Gray (1934-2019) was born in Riddrie, Glasgow, and trained as a painter at the Glasgow School of Art. He worked as a part-time art teacher, muralist and theatrical scene painter before becoming a full-time painter, playwright and author. He was described by writer Will Self as ‘a great writer, perhaps the greatest living in this archipelago today’.  Ali Smith described him as ‘an artist in every form. He was a renaissance man.

His highly-acclaimed first novel Lanark was published in 1981, winning both a Scottish Arts Council Book Award and the Scottish Book of the Year award. It was followed by more than 30 further books, all of which he designed and illustrated, ranging from novels, short story collections, plays, volumes of poetry, works of non-fiction and translations – most recently his interpretations of Dante’s Divine Trilogy.  His public murals are visible across Glasgow, with further examples of his work on display in galleries from the V&A to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.

In November 2019, the month before he died, Alasdair Gray won the inaugural Saltire Society Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to Scottish Literature.

Alasdair Gray’s non-fiction work is represented by Jenny. For all enquiries contact
For fiction enquiries, contact Zoe Waldie at Rogers, Coleridge & White (

Books by Alasdair

Dante’s Divine Trilogy

Canongate, February 2022

In this masterful retelling of one of the greatest works of world literature, Alasdair Gray – in his last work – offers an original translation in prosaic English rhyme. Lyrical and modern, this complete edition brings all three parts of Dante’s epic journey through Hell and Purgatory and on to Paradise together in a single volume for the first time.

Praise for Alasdair Gray

“One of the brightest intellectual and creative lights Scotland has known in modern times”

“A necessary genius”


Canongate, 2020

Dante, now guided by Beatrice, faces the final third of his epic journey through the wheels of divine justice. Yet as he passes through the spheres of Heaven, he struggles with his faith, striving to understand the scales of good and evil that determine the fate of a human soul. Paradise is a fitting conclusion to his own irreplaceable body of work, as well as to his masterful retelling of Dante’s trilogy.


Canongate, 2019

Alasdair Gray’s remarkable interpretation of Dante’s La Divina Commedia continues, translated and decorated. In part two of La Divina Commedia, one of the masterpieces of world literature, Dante and his guide, the poet Virgil, must enter and traverse Purgatory and the seven deadly sins in their quest to reach Heaven. In this colloquial version of Dante’s masterpiece, Alasdair Gray offers an original translation in his own unique idiom.

Lyrical and modern, this remarkable edition yokes two great literary minds, seven hundred years apart, and brings the classic text alive for the twenty-first century.


Canongate, 2018

“No other translator has made the narratives so clear or strong, and the distinctive power of the work lies in the clarity of the storytelling . . a magnificent feat” (Herald)

Part one of Gray’s remarkable interpretation of Dante’s La Divina Commedia, translated and sublimely decorated.