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Irvine Welsh grew up in Leith, Scotland. The son of working class parents, he spent his childhood in government housing, a milieu he gave voice to in his hugely popular[…]

Irvine Welsh has noted success and failure in abundance.

Irvine Welsh: I think both success and failure have come quite easily. It’s like, it’s weird because I think when you… because I’ve been very successful with the writing and just because the first book sort of got, there’s a… the first book was the first thing I’ve written, “Trainspotting,” and it got published by the first publisher I sent it to, and it got and it became a bestseller, it became a successful play. It got made into a huge film and it kind of went around the world.

So it’s almost like the kind of the dream model to kind of to launch kind of a writing career, really. So, it has been successful. But it’s like it’s only… most of the things I’ve done I’ve been a failure at, too. So it’s like, I think, from the outside, people would see it as being successful, but I’ve only I see the failures I’ve had in life. I’ve failed at music. I’ve not been able to do that, to the extent I wanted to. I’ve been a failure in a lot of things, like kind of, like jobs I’ve had.

I’ve always been able to act like somebody who was successful doing that job with that, but it’s always been fun, basically and it has always been, I’ve always felt like it’s just that much away from kind of being sort of outed or discovered as as a sort of ways to it basically and that kind of thing. So, I felt a lot of failure in the past. [In other way] I felt I’ve been successful, it’s been the right and it’s just been by a series of, kind of a default thing, really, having failed everything else.


Recorded on: September 8, 2008