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Winner of the Whitbread Novel Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize


A life without freedom to choose is not worth having.

Godwin Baxter's scientific ambition to create the perfect companion is realized when he finds the drowned body of the beautiful Bella, who he brings back to life in a Frankenstein-esque feat. But his dream is thwarted by Dr. Archibald McCandless's jealous love for his creation...

But what does Bella think?

This story of true love and scientific daring whirls the reader from the private operating-theatres of late-Victorian Glasgow through aristocratic casinos, low-life Alexandria and a Parisian bordello, reaching an interrupted climax in a Scottish church.


'A magnificently brisk, funny, dirty, brainy book' London Review of Books

'Visionary, ornate and outrageous' The Independent

'Witty and delightfully written' New York Times

'A brilliant marriage of technique, intelligence, and art.' Kirkus Reviews

'The greatest Scottish novelist since Sir Walter Scott' Anthony Burgess

Poor Things

  • By Alasdair Gray

    Set in and around Glasgow and the Mediterranean of the early 1880s, this novel describes the triangle of affection between two doctors and a clever woman who has been created - not born - at the age of 25. 

  • Rights Sold

    French, Spanish, Turkish, Polish, Korean, Italian, Croatian, Greek, Hungarian , Bulgarian , Dutch, Flemish, Chines Simple, Portuguese & Ukrainian , Chinese Complex, Lithuanian
  • Book Details

    Imprint: Bloomsbury Publishing
    Publication date: 03/09/1992
    Format:  Hardback | 240 pages

  • About the Author

    Alasdair Gray won the the Whitbread and Guardian Awards for POOR THINGS. He is also the author of THE BOOK OF PREFACES, the story-collection, TEN TALES TALL AND TRUE, and the groundbreaking modern classic, LANARK.

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