Louise Welsh

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Louise Welsh
Louise Welsh 2019
Louise Welsh 2019
Born (1965-02-01) 1 February 1965 (age 56)
London, England
EducationMA (Hons) in history, MLitt in Creative Writing (Distinction)
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow, University of Strathclyde
GenrePsychological thrillers
Years active2002-present

Louise Welsh (born 1 February 1965 in London) is an English-born author of short stories and psychological thrillers, resident in Glasgow, Scotland. She has also written three plays, an opera, edited volumes of prose and poetry, and contributed to journals and anthologies.[1] In 2004, she received the Corine Literature Prize.


Welsh studied history at Glasgow University and after graduating established and worked at a second-hand bookshop[2] for several years before publishing her first novel.


Welsh's debut novel The Cutting Room (2002)[3] was nominated for several literary awards including the 2003 Orange Prize for Fiction. It won the Crime Writers' Association Creasey Dagger for the best first crime novel. Welsh's second major work, the novella Tamburlaine Must Die (2004),[4] fictionally recounts the last few days in the life of 16th-century English dramatist and poet Christopher Marlowe, author of Tamburlaine the Great. Her third novel, The Bullet Trick (2006),[5] is set in Berlin, London and Glasgow and narrated from the perspective of magician and conjurer William Wilson. Her fourth novel, Naming the Bones, was published by Canongate Books in March 2010. Her fifth novel, The Girl on the Stairs is a psychological thriller set in Berlin and published in August 2012 by Hodder & Stoughton. Her sixth novel, A Lovely Way to Burn, came out with Hodder & Stoughton in 2014,[6] and in 2015 a sequel, Death is a Welcome Guest was published.[7]

In 2009, she donated the short story "The Night Highway" to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Her story was published in the Air collection.[8]

From December 2010 to April 2012, she was the Writer in Residence for the University of Glasgow and Glasgow School of Art.[1]

In 2011, Welsh participated in the International Writing Program Fall Residency at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.[9] She contributed, with Zoë Strachan, a short story entitled "Anyone Who Had a Heart" to Glasgow Women's Library's 21 Revolutions Project. 21 Revolutions commissioned 21 writers and 21 artists to create works to celebrate the 21st Birthday of Glasgow Women's Library.[10] She is Honorary President of the Ullapool Book Festival.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Welsh lives in Glasgow with the writer Zoë Strachan, her partner since 1998.[11]



Plague Times Trilogy[edit]

  • A Lovely Way to Burn (2014)
  • Death is a Welcome Guest (2015)
  • No Dominion (2017)

Short stories[edit]

  • "The Night Highway" (2009)
  • "Anyone Who Had a Heart"


  1. ^ a b c "University of Glasgow - Schools - School of Critical Studies - Our staff - Professor Louise Welsh". gla.ac.uk. Retrieved 12 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Writer Profile: Biography, Critical perspective, Bibliography, Awards". British Council Literature.
  3. ^ Charles Taylor (8 April 2003). "Captivating Thriller from a new Scottish Writer". Salon.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
  4. ^ Paul Hamilos (interview) (5 August 2005). "Capital Encounter". The Guardian.
  5. ^ Mark Lawson (22 July 2006). "And for her next trick..." The Guardian.
  6. ^ "Louise Welsh – A Lovely Way to Burn cover art and synopsis". Upcoming4.me. 22 October 2013. Archived from the original on 23 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Death Is a Welcome Guest by Louise Welsh, book review: A gripping survivor's story with shades of Agatha Christie". The Independent. 31 May 2015. Retrieved 2 January 2016.
  8. ^ "Oxfam: Ox-Tales". Archived from the original on 18 July 2011.
  9. ^ "2011 Resident Participants | The International Writing Program". iwp.uiowa.edu. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Glasgow Women's Library | Celebrating Scotland's Women". womenslibrary.org.uk. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Louise Welsh: 'The thing about genre is conventions you can muck about with … crime is not elevated, we all feel we can read it'". The Guardian. 5 April 2014. Retrieved 12 November 2019.

External links[edit]