He is the author of six novels: the acclaimed Morvern Callar (1995), winner of a Somerset Maugham Award; These Demented Lands (1997), winner of the Encore Award; The Sopranos (1998), winner of the Saltire Society Scottish Book of the Year Award; The Man Who Walks (2002), an imaginative and surreal black comedy; The Worms Can Carry Me to Heaven (2006), and The Stars in the Bright Sky (2010), a sequel to The Sopranos. Morvern Callar has been adapted as a film, and The Sopranos is to follow shortly. His short story 'After the Vision' was included in the anthology Children of Albion Rovers (1997) and 'Bitter Salvage' was included in Disco Biscuits (1997). In 2003 he was nominated by Granta magazine as one of twenty 'Best of Young British Novelists'. In 2010, his novel The Stars in the Bright Sky was included in the longlist for the Man Booker Prize. In 2013, he was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Deadman's Pedal.
Alan Warner's novels are mostly set in "The Port", a place bearing some resemblance to Oban. He is known to appreciate 1970s Krautrock band Can; two of his books feature dedications to former band members (Morvern Callar to Holger Czukay and The Man Who Walks to Michael Karoli). Alan Warner currently splits his time between Dublin and Javea, Spain and is the current Writer-in-Residence at the University of Edinburgh.