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A model modern Boswell

A new biography of Alasdair Gray doesn't answer the big questions. But it is canny and charming on the small ones

Alasdair Gray: a Secretary’s Biography by Rodge Glass (Bloomsbury, £25)

The initial disappointment anyone who reveres the towering—or teetering—figure of Alasdair Gray must feel on picking up this story of his life is that “the little grey deity,” as Will Self has dubbed Scotland’s greatest living author, is not here receiving the treatment of a commensurately ordained biographer. Rodge Glass is, rather, a smart novice: a young English novelist whose credentials consist of an apprenticeship served in Glasgow as Gray’s secretary, a job that appears to have involved a ragtag of duties, from teaching his mentor how to use email,…

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