Alasdair Gray is a fat, spectacled, balding, increasingly old Glasgow pedestrian who (despite two recent years as Professor of Creative Writing at Glasgow University) has mainly lived by writing and designing eighteen books, most of them fiction. He was born in Glasgow in 1934 and studied drawing and painting at the Glasgow School of Art. He has produced portraits and murals, and has also written for TV, radio, and stage. His works of fiction include Unlikely Stories, Mostly; 1982, Janine; Poor Things, which won the Whitbread Novel of the Year in 1992; and his magnum opus, Lanark. His books have been translated into over fifteen languages and he is currently working on his illustrated autobiography, A Life in Pictures. The Ends of our Tethers is his ninth book published by Canongate.