Alasdair Gray: A Secretary’s Biography

Gray biog page photo 2008
Rodge circa 2008, photo by Ross Wood

‘Glass is Gray’s perfect biographer’

The Guardian

Alasdair Gray: A Secretary’s Biography was Rodge’s first non-fiction work. It was shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Council Non-Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2009 and won a Somerset Maugham Award the same year. The book was published in hardback by Bloomsbury in 2008 and in paperback in 2009.

‘A strange and nourishing stew’

Time Magazine

‘Few biographers have ever come so close to their subject…a successful and appealing book.’

Karl Miller, Times Literary Supplement

From the Bloomsbury paperback blurb:

Alasdair Gray, author of the modern classics Lanark, Poor Things and 1982, Janine, is without doubt Scotland’s greatest living novelist. Since trying (unsuccessfully) to buy him a drink in 1998, Rodge Glass, first tutee, then secretary to the author and latterly a novelist in his own right, now takes on the role of biographer, charting Gray’s life from unpublished and unrecognised son of a box-maker to septuagenarian ‘little grey deity’ as Will Self has called him. A modern-day Boswell to Gray’s Johnson, Glass seamlessly weaves a chronological narrative of his subject’s life into his own diary of meeting, getting to know and working with the artist, writer and campaigner, to create a vibrant and wonderfully textured portrait of the artist as a remarkable old man.

Gray biog page photo with AG in 2008


More praise for Alasdair Gray: A Secretary’s Biography – 

‘Intelligent and warm-hearted’ Jonathan Coe

‘Alasdair Gray is spectacularly eccentric…this book will delight the many devotees of the Gray cult’ Financial Times

‘A work just as original and quirky as its subject’ Metro

‘Honest and revealing, tender and, very unacademically, moving’ The Herald

‘Glass has produced a portrait that is critically intimate to the point of being genuinely, unashamedly loving’ Prospect Magazine


Find out more about Alasdair Gray at his official website here

Find out more about Gray’s art through his agent, Sorcha Dallas, here


You can buy Alasdair Gray: A Secretary’s biography here

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