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Louise Welsh

After studying history at Glasgow University, Louise Welsh established a second-hand bookshop, where she worked for many years. Her first novel, The Cutting Room, won several awards, including the 2002 Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey Memorial Dagger, and was jointly awarded the 2002 Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award. Louise was granted a Robert Louis Stevenson Memorial Award in 2003, a Scotland on Sunday/Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award in 2004, and a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2005. She is a regular radio broadcaster, has published many short stories, and has contributed articles and reviews to most of the British broadsheets. She has also written for the stage. The Guardian chose her as a ‘woman to watch’ in 2003.

A Lovely Way to Burn: Lukewarm post-apocalyptic lit

A Lovely Way to Burn by Louise Welsh

Post-apocalyptic literature is having a bit of a moment. This is probably because you can’t call anything dystopia anymore without someone rolling their eyes, but still. Louise Welsh’s contribution to the genre is A Lovely Way to Burn, in which a flu pandemic (kind of grossly nicknamed “the sweats”) is wreaking havoc on the human race. Welsh’s tale is set in contemporary London and it’s all her heroine, Stevie Flint, can do to try and survive the descent into chaos.

The novel opens (in truly British fashion) with the Tory MP for Hove sunning himself in a deckchair in the back garden of his residence on the river Thames. He then proceeds to load up his gun and open fire on the tourists, ploughing down six holidaymakers. The scene then cuts to a hedge-fund manager for a bank, who opens fire in a crowded tube carriage on the Undergrou... Read More