Poor Things: Episodes from the Early Life of Archibald McCandless M.D., Scottish Public Health Officer

 
9780140265965: Poor Things: Episodes from the Early Life of Archibald McCandless M.D., Scottish Public Health Officer

"The greatest Scottish novelist since Sir Walter Scott." Anthony Burgess

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Review:

The full title of this work, Poor Things: Episodes from the Early Life of Archibald McCandless M.D. Scottish Public Health Officer, reflect a bit of wacky genius at work here. Someone named Alasdair Gray has found a memoir supposedly of a 19th-century public health officer in Glasgow. The truth of the memoir is suspect, nevertheless Gray manages to change it and then lose it. And that's just the backdrop. Inside the memoir is the story of McCandless, an acquaintance named Godwyn Bysshe Baxter who takes a suicide victim, gives her the brain of her unborn child to create a promiscuous and brutal girlfriend. The book, which won the 1992 Guardian Fiction Prize, takes off from there.

About the Author:

Alasdair Gray was born in 1934 in Glasgow, where he still lives. A painter as well as a writer, Mr. Gray describes himself as "an artist in words and pictures." He is the author of Poor Things, Lannark, and 1982 Janine, among other novels and story collections.

Authors of the stories come from all over Scotland and represent a wide mix of gender, age and cultures. Celebrity contributors include Alexander McCall Smith, writer of the Number One Ladies Detective Agency series; award winning film and stage actor Brain Cox, Michael Rosen, who was Children's Poet Laureate from 2007 to 2009, and writer Janice Galloway, whose latest book was This is Not About Me.

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