Irvine Welsh

Speaker

Irvine Welsh is an iconic writer who has shaped subculture through gritty realism.

Born in the city of Edinburgh and matured in the housing schemes of Leith, West Pilton, and Muirhouse, the Scottish novelist, playwright, DJ, and record label owner Irvine Welsh catapulted into the consciousness of popular culture with his debut novel Trainspotting. The book sold over a million copies in the UK alone and was later adapted into an iconic film by Danny Boyle.

Sometimes dubbed a "rave author" or "the poet laureate of the chemical generation", Welsh's inspiration stems from experiencing the explosions of punk and rave first-hand, depicting the many faces of nightlife and subcultures and raising questions about identity and the human condition. Welsh has been involved in dance music as a DJ, promoter, and co-owner of a record label, Jack Said What. A testament to his love for electronic music, especially acid house, but also his critical perspective of rave culture is present in most of his works, for example, in his novella series Ecstasy: Three Tales of Chemical Romance and short story collection The Acid House which have both been adapted into film.