Irvine Welsh

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Irvine Welsh (born 27 September 1958 Leith, Edinburgh) is a contemporary Scottish novelist, best known for his novel Trainspotting. His work is characterised by raw Scottish dialect, and brutal depiction of the realities of Edinburgh life. He has also written plays, screenplays, and directed several short films.



Irvine Welsh was born in Leith, a port area to the east and now part of the Scottish capital Edinburgh. His family moved to Muirhouse, in Edinburgh, when he was four, where the family stayed at local housing schemes.[1] His mother worked as a waitress. His father was a dock worker in Leith until bad health forced him to become a carpet salesman; he died when Welsh was 25. Welsh left Ainslie Park High School when he was 16 and then completed a City and Guilds course in electrical engineering. He became an apprentice TV repairman until an electric shock persuaded him to move on to a series of other jobs.[1] He left Edinburgh for the London punk scene in 1978, where he played guitar and sang in The Pubic Lice and Stairway 13,[1] the latter a reference to the Ibrox disaster. A series of arrests for petty crimes and finally a suspended sentence for trashing a North London community centre inspired Welsh to correct his ways. He worked for Hackney London Borough Council in London and studied computing with the support of the Manpower Services Commission.[1]

In the mid 1980s he became a minor property speculator, renovating houses in the rapidly gentrifying North London. After the London property boom of the 1980s, Welsh returned to Edinburgh in late 80s, where he worked for the city council in the housing department. He went on to study for an MBA at Heriot-Watt University, writing his thesis on creating equal opportunities for women.

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