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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Taking on the 'tough topics'

“Writing is such a good thing to do because you can't really get bored with it. If you're bored with writing, you're bored with life.” – Irvine Welsh

A native of Scotland who was born on this date “sometime in the 1950s,” Welsh burst onto the literary scene with his 1993 bestselling novel Trainspotting, also made into a successful movie.  Based on a series of loosely connected short stories, the book tells about a group of characters tied together by decaying friendships, addiction, and efforts to escape the oppressive boredom and brutality of their lives.   The award-winning film featured rising stars Ewan McGregor, Kelly MacDonald, Johnny Lee Miller, Ewen Bremner and Kevin McKidd.

Welsh has authored 11 novels and 4 short story collections – most based on the lives of working class Scots.  His 2016 book The Blade Artist won wide acclaim, as did his 2017 screenplay for Trainspotting, T2, a sequel to the first movie.   Welsh has written a number of successful screenplays, several plays, and one musical.                      
                   Unflinching in writing about tough topics, including addiction, hooliganism, prejudice and class divisions, Welsh offers the following advice to those who might want to give sensitive topics a try.

“I think the silences we have on some issues are inductive of the fact that we need to write about them more,” he said,  “but I think there are some issues you have to write in a sensitive way and in a way that respects the reality of the situation. If you can't do that, you should leave them alone.”

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