Keir Hind, 'A Life in Pictures by Alasdair Gray' (The Skinny, 21/09/2010)

A Life in Pictures is just that, and a treat it is too. The book is a beautifully produced selection of Gray’s art over 300 pages, with extensive text by Gray himself to explain a little about the pictures, and his life at the time they were painted – it’s as close to an autobiography as we’re likely to get. It’s frankly excellent, and even Gray’s long time critical foe Sidney Workman says as much on the flyleaf. That’s that review done, so I’ll spend the rest of this space by asking if you’d kindly consider the post-postscript of the book, in which Gray makes a sales pitch. What, you say, has Gray sold out? No, dear reader, he’s advertising a book for charity. Nellimeg’s Book is a charitable venture designed to raise funds for Enable Glasgow, one of the charities that supports people like Helen Margaret (Hence ‘Nelly –meg’) Hind, the disabled daughter of Gray’s friends Archie and Eleanor Hind. Gray has been drawing pictures for her for years, and this book is a selection of them. It’s £10, and, though short, is for a good cause, which this reviewer chooses to highlight for probably obvious reasons.