(born 1925 - died 1984) - Glasgow
Alexander Trocchi was a prolific writer of novels and essays, of porn (for the Olympia Press in Paris), a magazine editor and bookseller, and one of the few Scottish writers who wrote in the Beat tradition of the 1950s and ‘60s.
He was born in 1925 in Glasgow, the son of an Italian father. He attended Glasgow University where Edwin Morgan, then a lecturer there, remembers him as a brilliant and charismatic but erratic student. He moved to Paris where he quickly found a niche (and a more sympathetic environment than 1950s Scotland), then New York, and then back to Britain, latterly settling in London, where he made a living writing, and selling rare books. His sometimes lurid private life became almost legendary with a succession of lovers, jobs, controversies, and a serious drug addiction, and tended to eclipse a serious consideration of his writing. He died in London in 1984; his latter years marred by a series of tragedies in his private life.
In the mid-1990s a flurry of writing and publishing about Trocchi brought his work to a new audience. Andrew Murray Scott published a biography, Alexander Trocchi: The Making of a Monster and edited Invisible Insurrection of a Million Minds: A Trocchi Reader (both Polygon). The two Beat-influenced novels, Young Adam and Cain's Book were re-issued in the 1990s (with the former translated into a film of the same name by David Mackenzie in 2003) as well as the Olympia Press titles by Canongate.
- Add to BasketCain's Book - Paperback
'Cain's Book', written in the 1960s, concerns drug addiction and the hazards and excitements of an junkie's life. When the author left Glasgow University, he moved to Paris, where he founded a literary magazine, wrote novels, experimented with heroin and became hooked.
A young woman uses her alluring charms to take her through life. The best known and finest of Trocchi's erotic novels, this is a highly compelling examination of sexuality, written from the perspective of its eponymous heroine.