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Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh

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Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Many people first encountered the work of Irvine Welsh via the adaption of his debut novel, Trainspotting (1993), into the stylish and audacious second feature film by director Danny Boyle. Welsh¿s chronicle of the lives of Scottish heroin addicts was followed by a collection of linked short stories, The Acid House (1994), several of which Welsh adapted for the film version. Welsh continued writing books, several of which were best sellers, as well as TV movies and made forays into directing and playwriting. His use of Scottish dialect and use of dashes instead of quotation marks did not deter readers who made many of his books best sellers, and in 2012, his Trainspotting prequel, Skagboys, was published. Welsh¿s fiction is said to draw heavily on his own background; he was born and raised in Edinburgh, the son of a waitress and a dock worker, and left school to study electrical engineering. He then moved to London, sang in a punk band, and fell into a life of petty crime and heroin addiction. After some run-ins with the police, Welsh cleaned up his act and returned to Scotland. At any rate, this is the official biography version; other incarnations of his life story place his birth in 1951, not...

Many people first encountered the work of Irvine Welsh via the adaption of his debut novel, Trainspotting (1993), into the stylish and audacious second feature film by director Danny Boyle. Welsh¿s chronicle of the lives of Scottish heroin addicts was followed by a collection of linked short stories, The Acid House (1994), several of which Welsh adapted for the film version. Welsh continued writing books, several of which were best sellers, as well as TV movies and made forays into directing and playwriting. His use of Scottish dialect and use of dashes instead of quotation marks did not deter readers who made many of his books best sellers, and in 2012, his Trainspotting prequel, Skagboys, was published.

Welsh¿s fiction is said to draw heavily on his own background; he was born and raised in Edinburgh, the son of a waitress and a dock worker, and left school to study electrical engineering. He then moved to London, sang in a punk band, and fell into a life of petty crime and heroin addiction. After some run-ins with the police, Welsh cleaned up his act and returned to Scotland. At any rate, this is the official biography version; other incarnations of his life story place his birth in 1951, not 1958, and posit a gentler, more middle class existence for the writer ¿ a Guardian, article once described his early life as "a series of elusive, unsubstantiated rumors" (February 4, 1996). All agree on his return to Edinburgh where he worked for the city council and went to school to work on an MBA. He also married his first wife, Anne Ansty.

With the publication of his first novel, Trainspotting, Welsh appeared to burst out of nowhere onto the literary scene although portions of the book had been published in literary magazines. Trainspotting was a harrowing look at the lives of heroin addicts in Edinburgh. The book was then adapted for a successful stage play, and three years after its publication, the film of the same name was released. Under the direction of Danny Boyle, the kinetic, intense portrayal of heroin addicts in Scotland launched the career of actors Ewan McGregor and Robert Carlyle and generated controversy for its purported glamorization of drug addiction.

Welsh produced several works of fiction in short order following his debut, publishing short story collections The Acid House and Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance(1996) as well as the novel Marabou Stork Nightmares (1995). He also turned his hand to playwriting for the first time, penning "You¿ll Have Had your Hole," which was not as well-reviewed as the stage production of "Trainspotting," and adapting The Acid House for film. Welsh himself played small parts in the first two films based on his work.

Switching between film and television writing, playwriting, and novels and short fiction, Welsh continued to produce steadily, releasing novels including Filth (1998), Glue (2001) and Porno (2002). Welsh also began writing for television starting with the TV movie "Dockers" (Channel 4, 1999), a drama dealing with striking Liverpool dock workers. In fact, Welsh and his co-writer Jimmy McGovern supervised a team of writers made up of dock workers themselves.

Fiercely protective of his private life ¿ he didn¿t acknowledge being married until he and Anne Ansty split up after 19 years together ¿ Welsh keeps the focus on his work and keeps would-be biographers guessing. He moved to the United States where he met and married his second wife, the Chicago native Beth Quinn, and he began writing feature films. He wrote and directed the comedy "Good Arrows" (2009) about a darts player as well as writing the comedy "The Magnificent Eleven" (2013). In 2012, Welsh published Skagboys, a prequel to Trainspotting.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Acid House, The (1998) Parkie ("The Granton Star Cause")
2.
 Trainspotting (1996) Mikey
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Milestones close milestones

1993:
First novel, <i>Trainspotting</i>, published
1996:
Film version of "Trainspotting" released
1998:
Wrote the screenplay to the film "The Acid House"
1998:
First played produced, "You'll Have Had Your Hole"
1999:
Wrote "Dockers" for TV
2009:
Wrote and directed first feature-length film, "Good Arrows"
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