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Chris Dolan (born 1957) is an award-winning novelist, poet and playwright writes. He has written regularly for stage, page, screen, and radio.
Born in Glasgow, after being Scottish Co-ordinator of Community Service Volunteers and International Consultant for UNESCO, Chris Dolan in 1992 dedicated himself to writing full-time.
Chris Dolan has published two novels, two collections of short stories and two non-fiction books. He has had three full-length stage plays produced internationally, with five shorter pieces and four collaborations with Spanish dramatists. He has written over 50 hours of television, and more of radio drama. He has worked in collaboration with visual artists on several pieces of public art, has published poems, broadcasts regularly and writes for Scottish and London newspapers.
Dolan is currently working on his 3rd novel, Aliyyah, two stage plays and a doctorate on the relationship between historical chronicle and narrative fiction.
Ascension Day (Headline Review, 1999) won the McKitterick First Novel Prize.
- "…Dolan’s post-industrial and post-imperialist Glasgow: ‘such quiet, modest little groupings of streets, yet their shadow stretched and fell for thousands of miles, as afar as Africa, India, America.’ This long-range view gives the novel great power, as Dolan draws his characters inexorably together, in the lost, once-great, city on the Clyde." - Christopher Hart, Scottish Review of Books.
Redlegs (Vagabond Voices, 2012)
- "Good things come to those who wait, and this is a good thing… An engrossing and compelling novel... lingering richly in the memory… A fine novel" - The Scotsman.
- "A powerful, disturbing tale, written with scrupulous care both for words and their hidden meanings" - The Independent.
- "A gripping piece of work… Beautiful, rich prose that evokes a place, a sense of time and the beat of Elspeth's (the protagonist’s) heart" - The Herald.
Chris Dolan's short stories have appeared in various magazines and anthologies and have been broadcast on BBC Radio.
Poor Angels (Polygon, 1995) was shortlisted for the Saltire Prize, and included both the winning story for 1995 Scotland on Sunday / Macallan Prize (Sleet and Snow), and runner-up the following year (Year of the Vezzas).
- "He holds you in a tight grip right from the start and manages to combine a sense of raw nostalgia with a profoundly moving atmosphere of love and loss." - Scotland on Sunday  on Sleet and Snow
- "Dolan’s stunning, cornucopian imagination and the tremendous variety of his writings." - Deliah Quinn on Poor Angels and Other Stories
- "Dolan’s most striking feature is his ability to fuse realism and surrealism, to walk a tightrope between the ordinary and the bizarre." - Douglas Gifford on Poor Angels and Other Stories
- "Chris Dolan has done a fantastic job of uncovering Ethel MacDonald's life story...fascinating and enlightening." - The Skinny (magazine)
- "An illuminating, sparkling crash course in events and ideas that shaped Glasgow and Europe for decades. A wonderful author, Dolan achieves the vim and colour one might expect of a scriptwriter, yet without colouring in too many blanks with hypotheses. An Anarchist's Story is a long-overdue, highly worthy account of a life more of us need to know about. When stories as astonishing as this are so well told, fiction looks dull by comparison." - History Scotland Review
John Lennon – The Original Beatle (Argyll, 2010)
- "Chris Dolan captures the essence of John Lennon creative life and work- pop star, spokesman, tragic victim, madman, jester and genius." 
His first play, The Veil, premiered at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh in 1991. His other plays include Sabina (1998), a bittersweet comedy set in Glasgow, which won an Edinburgh Festival Fringe First in 1996, and which he adapted for BBC Radio 4 in 2000. Sabina has had nine productions to date. The Reader, an adaptation of the novel by Bernhard Schlink, was first staged in 2000 by Borderline Theatre Company, second and third productions were staged in Edinburgh, LA and San Francisco. His next play The Angel's Share (2000) toured Scotland and was most recently staged in Carlisle. He also translates and adapts drama from Spanish, including Short Spin and Wheesht, and translates his own work into Spanish.
Writing for screen and radio
He writes regularly for radio, including four original plays and many adaptations, including Umberto Eco's Name of the Rose, The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson and several of Ian Rankin's Rebus novels. His four-part modern take on Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was broadcast in October 2012.
He writes and presents radio features and documentaries for BBC Radio Scotland and for BBC Radio 3 and BBC Radio 4.
He writes screenplays which have included Poor Angels and Ring of Truth as well as TV drama documentaries, An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald, Barbado'ed both broadcast by BBC and Red Oil for Channel 4.
Dolan has written extensively for Taggart, Take the High Road, Machair (TV series), and River City for which he has been writing since its inception.
Bibliography and other works
- Ascension Day (Hodder Headline Review, 1999)
- Redlegs (Vagabond Voices, 2012)
- Hour After Hour (Pathfinder, 2008)
- Poor Angels (Polygon, 1996)
- John Lennon, The Original Beatle. Biography (Argyll, 2011)
- An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald (Birlinn, 2009)
- The Veil (1991)
- Sabina! (1995)
- 3 Fallen Angels (1997)
- The Angels’ Share (2000)
- The Reader (2005)
- Leather Bound and Double Shot short plays for Play, Pie & Pint, series (2005/2006)
- Short Spin and Wheesht, Zarraberri and Limbo, all translations of plays for Play, Pie & Pint (2006)
- Hephaistos (2008)
- The Kist (2011)
- Sabina ! (BBC Radio 4, 2000)
- 120 Rue de la Gare (adaptation of French thriller, BBC Radio 4, 2001)
- Of Love & Other Demons (Gabriel García Márquez novel, BBC Radio 3 2002)
- The Master of Ballantrae ( adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's novel, BBC Radio 4, 2005)
- Mission to Marseilles (adaptation of French thriller, 2004)
- The Name of the Rose (adaptation of Umberto Eco's novel BBC Radio 4, 2006)
- The Observations (adaptation of a Jane Harris novel, Woman’s Hour, 2007)
- The Tenderness of Wolves ( adaptation of Stef Penney novel, Woman’s Hour, 2007)
- The Black Sheep (Honoré de Balzac, BBC Radio 4, 2008)
- Black and Blue (Ian Rankin Rebus adaptation, BBC Radio 4, 2008)
- The Dead Hour (adaptation of Denise Mina nove, 2009)
- Blue Water (original play for BBC Radio Scotland, 2009)
- Strip Jack (Rebus novel for BBC Radio 4, 2011)
- House of Mercy ( co-written with Bruce Young, Woman’s Hour, 2011)
- Dr. Hyde ( original updating of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic, Radio Scotland, 2012)
- The Black Book (Rebus adaptation, 2012)
- River City (BBC Scotland, 2004-)
- Taggart (STV, 2004-2008)
- Burns - Alive & Kicking (6 dramas on Robert Burns, Channel 4, 1998)
- Machair (Gaelic serial drama, team writer, 1996-1998)
- High Road (STV, Resident writer 1992-1998)
- The X File(drama-docs on Scottish Democracy, Channel 4 1999-2000)
- Poor Angels (1996)
- Ring of Truth (1998, BBC Scotland)
- An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald (writer, BBC drama doc, 2007)
- Barbado’ed (writer, presenter, producer, doc BBC / TG4 / RDF)
- Red Oil (co-writer, Mediaco/Channel 4 doc on Chavez’s Venezuela, 2009)
- Don Roberto (co-writer, Caledonia Films, BBC Scotland, 2008)
- Eurokids (writer and presenter, 3 series 1992-1995 of 6 programs each on young Europeans)
- Alba Na 70's (6-part series for STV 1993)
Radio Writer/presenter Inc’s
- Edge of the World (documentary series Radio Scotland, 2001)
- Cover Stories (writer and presenter, Radio Scotland’s weekly book programme, 2003-2005)
- Mingin’ (writer and presenter 60' doc. on sense of smell, Radio Scotland, 2002)
- Sunday Morning (writer and presenter doc on Scotland’s Sundays, 2003)
- Letter from Caribbean & Northern Arts (Radio 3 Interval Talks, 2002)
- The Last Communard (on French Revolution, BBC Radio Scotland, 2007)
- Lad o’Pairts (series on Scottish Education, Radio Scotland, 2003-2004)
- On The Shelf (6 part series on Scots and their book collections, Radio Scotland, 2003)
- Fire! 60 (Hogmanay special on fire & light, Radio 4, 2003)
- The Last Tutor (writer and presenter; 60” doc. Radio Scotland, 2004)
- The Real Macbeth (Radio Scotland, 5 part series, 2007)
- Published in: Chapman, Mariscat. Scottish & Glasgow collections
- Macallan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Prize (1995; Finalist, 1998)
- Edinburgh Festival Fringe First  (1996)
- Scottish Screenwriters' Award (1992)
- Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Award (1999)
- Canongate Prize, for journalism (1999)
- Mckitterick,1st Novel Prize (2000)
- British Council Literature, Chris Dolan , Retrieved 20.02.2013
- Book review: Redlegs. Scottish Review of Books , Retrieved 18.02.2013
- Book review: Redlegs. The Scotsman, 14 July 2012 , Retrieved 22.02.2013
- Redlegs by Chris Dolan. The Independent, 12 July 2012 , Retrieved 21.02.2013
- Redlegs by Chris Dolan. The Skinny, 25 July 2012 , Retrieved 10.02.2013
- Slaves to the past. Herald Scotland, 14 July 2012 , Retrieved 14.02.2013
- Sleet and Snow Scotland on Sunday,, Retrieved 23.02.2013
- An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald, The Scotsman,, Retrieved 17.02.2013
- An Anarchist's Story: The Life of Ethel MacDonald by Chris Dolan. The Skinny (magazine), 22 April 2009 , Retrieved 19.02.2013
- John Lennon – The Original Beatle, Argyll 2010: Inspiration series
- British Council Literature,, Retrieved 28.02.2013
- British Councile Literature,, Retrieved 17.02.2013
Chris Dolan British Council Literature
Chris Dolan Books from Scotland
Barbados’ed Barbado'ed Scotland's Sugar Slaves - (BBC Full Length Documentary) on YouTube