A postmodern novel of melancholy memory and erotic fantasy—“a filthy tour de force”—by the acclaimed Scottish author of Lanark (The Washington Post).
1982, Janine is a searing portrait of male need and inadequacy, as explored via the lonely sexual fantasies of Jock McLeish, failed husband, lover, and businessman. Alone in a hotel room, Jock attempts again and again to escape the realities of his life through an elaborate sadomasochistic fantasy featuring a woman named Janine. As various memories—from childhood to marriage to his present predicament—invade his imagination, Jock reels through this endlessly inventive black comedy of a man’s mind.
An unforgettably challenging book about power and powerlessness, men and women, masters and servants, small countries and big countries, Alasdair Gray’s exploration of the politics of pornography has lost none of its power to shock.
“1982, Janine has a verbal energy, an intensity of vision that has mostly been missing from the English novel since D.H. Lawrence.” —New York Times
“1982, Janine revived my flagging impetus to continue writing myself.” —Jonathan Coe, winner of the 2019 Costa Novel Award