Join Litquake for the exclusive Bay Area appearance of Scottish author Irvine Welsh, celebrating the launch of his new novel Skagboys, an exhilarating and moving prequel to the bestselling phenomenon Trainspotting. Not only that, we’re screening the entire Trainspotting film! We are particularly excited to welcome back Irvine to the festival, where he helped launch Litquake with his bold and hilarious readings in 2002 and 2003. And the movie, of course, is a classic! In conversation with Alan Black, with videos, no-host bar, and music by DJ Se666undo. Audience Q&A to follow, and signing and book sales by Booksmith.
Marked by Irvine Welsh’s scabrous humor and raw Scottish vernacular, Skagboys transports us to 1980s Edinburgh, where the Trainspotting crew is just getting started. Mark Renton has it all: the first in his family to attend university, he has a pretty girlfriend and a great social life. But when economic uncertainties and family problems intervene, Rent succumbs to the defeatism—not to mention the drug use—that has taken hold in Edinburgh’s tougher quarters. His friends are responding according to personality. Laid off, Spud Murphy is paralyzed in the face of long-term unemployment. Sick Boy, supreme manipulator of the opposite sex, is scamming and hustling for money and drugs. And meanwhile, psycho Franco Begbie is scaring the hell out of everyone. Darkly humorous, Skagboys gives a gritty and gripping portrait of a time, not unlike ourse, when money was scarce, unemployment was high, and drugs seemed the answer.
Irvine Welsh is the author of Trainspotting, Filth (being made into a movie starring James McAvoy), Acid House, Glue, Porno, and Crime, writes screenplays, and produces movies. He lives in Chicago, Miami, and London.
Alan Black produced the U.S. premier of the stage version of Trainspotting in 1996. He is soccer columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.