was born on September 27, 1958 in Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland. Leith is
the lower port area of Edinburgh. His mother was a waitress and his
father was a dockhand until bad health forced him to stop working on the
docks; he became a carpet salesman after that. Welsh’s father died when
Welsh was 25.
Their family life is something that Welsh frequently recalls in his
fictional tales. He is known for using the poor housing areas of
Scotland as his settings. Welsh has first-hand knowledge of living in
these areas as a child. Many critics and reviewers would characterize
Welsh’s work as a brutal depiction of realities in Edinburgh. He quite
commonly uses the Scottish dialect in his writing, with great effect.
Welsh dropped out of high school and took up various trades. After
coming in contact with the law too many times, he decided to clean up
his act and went back to school. He eventually received his Master’s
degree from Heriot-Watt University. His thesis paper was on equal
opportunities for women.
Welsh’s first novel, Trainspotting, was declared a hit by just about
everyone but Bob Dole, an American politician running for the
Presidency. He made speeches that this book and the movie that followed
it were a moral depravity and glorification of drug use. Funnily, Dole
admitted to never actually seeing the film, or reading the book.
Welsh lives in Chicago now, with his second wife. He previously lived in
Dublin, Ireland. His latest book, Skagg Boys, was published in the early
part of 2012.