10 Favourite Novels: the authors respond

Irvine Welsh photo by Jeffrey Delannoy
Category: Reading

We've announced the winners of our poll to find the 10 Favourite Scottish Novels of the Last 50 Years, and the results will undoubtedly provoke more discussion, opinions and (friendly) debate.

Here's what some of the winning authors had to say when we told them the results.

Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting, No. 1)

"I don't know if Trainspotting is the best Scottish book - I'm far from convinced it's my own best book. But I'm obviously flattered just to be on that list of great novels with those amazing writers, especially when I consider some of the brilliant books and my personal favourites that never made it onto this list."

Irvine's personal favourite Scottish novels:

Irvine Welsh (pictured above) is the author of 12 books including Trainspotting, Ecstasy, Filth and most recently Skagboys. He divides his time between Florida, Ireland, and Scotland. Find out more at www.irvinewelsh.net


Alasdair Gray
Alasdair Gray (Lanark, No. 2)

"My reaction to your news is delighted astonishment that Lanark has been judged more popular than a book by Ian Rankin, and only regret that this wonderful honour had no money attached to it!"

Alasdair Gray is a prolific Glasgow writer and artist, best known for the novels Poor Things and Lanark. Find out more on his excellent website.


Ian Rankin (Black and Blue, No. 3)

Ian Rankin

"Such an honour to find myself in this particular top 10, especially with a book I regard with great fondness. I'm sure the results will be pored over and discussed, but what really matters is that books are still read with a passion. I feel sure this will be the case in another 50 years' time!"

Ian Rankin is the bestselling Fife-born author of the Inspector Rebus crime novel series. Find out more at www.ianrankin.net


Iain Banks
Iain (M.) Banks (The Bridge, No.4 and Excession, No. 6) - quote from Adele Hartley

"Iain was always a huge fan of his fans and I think he'd have been very flattered by their support and delighted to be in such fine company."

Iain Banks was one of Scotland's most popular and influential authors, known for The Crow Road, The Wasp Factory and his Culture sci-fi series. Find out more at www.iain-banks.net/books


Christopher Brookmyre
Christopher Brookmyre (One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, No. 5)

"I am really thrilled to see One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night placed so high in Scottish readers’ affections. It was my intention to take all the grandeur and excitement of Hollywood action movies and re-imagine them through a prism of very Scottish sensibilities, so the book’s enduring popularity would suggest that I got the balance right. It was the book I most enjoyed writing, and remains the one I recommend to newcomers who haven’t read my work before."

Christopher Brookmyre is the award-winning author of fourteen published novels to-date, the latest being Where The Bodies Are Buried. Find out more at www.brookmyre.co.uk


Alan Warner
Alan Warner (Morvern Callar, No. 7)

"I am amazed Morvern Callar made it among votes as high as 8000. That is quite a response."

Alan Warner grew up in Connel, near Oban, and is the author of seven novels. He was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2010 for The Stars in the Bright Sky. Find out more at www.randomhouse.co.uk/authors/alan-warner


Alexander McCall Smith
Alexander McCall Smith (44 Scotland Street, No. 8)

"I'm pleased that people like Scotland Street. I get great pleasure from writing those books, and will continue to do so. Thank you."

Alexander McCall Smith is the bestselling Edinburgh-based writer of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and The Sunday Philosophy Club series. Find out more at www.alexandermccallsmith.co.uk/home


Photo by Kirsty Anderson
Janice Galloway (The Trick is to Keep Breathing, No.9)

Janice Galloway is the author of seven books of prose, prose-poetry and poems. Her 2012 'anti-memoir' All Made Up was the winner of the Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust non-fiction award. She is currently finishing a new book. Find out more about Janice and her writing here.

"The novel presents a searing portrait of a mind in crisis and offers the possibility of hope in its darkest moments." - Stuart Kelly


William McIlvanney
William McIlvanney (Docherty, No. 10)

William McIlvanney, the 'inventor of tartan noir' is the influential author of Laidlaw and Weekend. He writes regularly at his fantastic website www.personaldispatches.com.

"His third novel, is a serious, considered and achingly sympathetic engagement with the people whose only trace in the historical record is birth and death notices." - Stuart Kelly  



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