Alasdair Gray (born 28 December 1934) is a Scottish writer and artist. His acclaimed first novel, Lanark (1981), written over almost 30 years, was described by The Guardian as "one of the landmarks of 20th-century fiction." Poor Things (1992) won him a Whitbread Novel Award and Guardian Fiction Prize. He calls himself a civic nationalist and a republican. His works combine realism, fantasy, and science fiction, plus clever use of typography and his own illustrations. He has also written in support of socialism and Scottish independence and on the history of English literature. He has been seen as "a creative polymath with an integrated politico-philosophic vision", and "perhaps the greatest living [writer] in this archipelago today", and by himself as "a fat, spectacled, balding, increasingly old Glasgow pedestrian".