an unofficial Alasdair Gray website
Lean Tales (1985)
A Report to the Trustees
The Story of a Recluse
Portrait of a Playwright
Portrait of a Painter
I Own Nothing, I Owe Nothing
Also contains the following short stories by James Kelman and Agnes Owens.
Busted Scotch ; the same is here again ; The Glenchecked Effort ; The Witness ; Are you drinking sir? ; In a betting shop to the rear of Shaftsbury Avenue ; Where I was ; Extra cup ; learning the Story ; Getting there ; the paperbag ; Old Holborn ; O Jesus, here come the dwarfs ; Manufactured in Paris ; The Place! ; A Nighboilerman's notes ; The City Slicker and The Barmaid ; An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding
Arabella ; Bus Queue ; Getting Sent For ; Commemoration Day ; The Silver Cup ; Fellow Travellers ; McIntyre ; We Don't Shoot Prisoners on a Sunday ; A Change of Face
Each selection of stories is preceded by a detailed portrait, drawn by Gray, above a reproduction of the writer's signature. The collection ends, as do so many of Gray's books, with a chapter detailing how the book got written. Postscript is a detailed memoir of Gray and Kelman, among others, attending Philip Hobsbaum's writing group in the 70s and their friendship with Agnes Owens. Gray had agreed to produce another collection of short stories, but didn't have enough written to fill a book on his own. So he used his position to help friends that he thoughts deserved the boost of publication by a major London-based publishing house. His decision has since been vindicated and the collection is seen as an early display of three talents that would be of great importance to the boom in Scottish writing in the late-80s / early-90s. Owens has since had several well-received novels published and Kelman has won the Booker prize.
The paperback edition
of Lean Tales added 3 short tales to Gray's section of the book
A Small Thistle
The Domino Game
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