The Holy Man and Other Stories

By Alexander Trocchi

ISBN: 9780714548470

128 pages

RRP: £8.99 £7.19

Above a disused bar, in a dilapidated Parisian hotel that houses an assortment of indigent, marginalized lost souls, one of the inhabitants, a mysterious, reclusive holy man, is the subject of much speculation from some of his fellow occupants and respectful reverence from others. As the tale unfolds, the dynamics of this precarious microcosm are laid bare, in a powerful portrayal of those society has forgotten.

Written when the author of Cain’s Book was at the height of his creative powers and enjoying an increasing reputation in avant-garde literary circles, ‘The Holy Man’ is here presented with ‘A Being of Distances’, ‘Peter Pierce’ and ‘A Meeting’, stories which similarly tackle themes of loneliness and disenfranchisement.

Part of Calder Publications imprint


  • [Alexander Trocchi was] an integral part of the European avant-garde literary scene of the 50s and 60s… the timeless existential malaise at the heart of the foursome’s key characters will easily resonate with a contemporary audience.

    Brian Donaldson
    The List

  • Mr Trocchi’s ideas (or, rather, his gropings toward the distant glow of ideas) are set down in prose that is always clean and sharp and often ferociously alive with poetry.

    The New Yorker

  • A fresh opportunity for readers to discover the writing of one of Scotland’s best writers of the twentieth century.

    Sean Sheehan
    Scottish Left Review

  • This collection will hopefully encourage people to discover the work of one of the most formidably intelligent and radical avant-garde writers Britain has ever produced.

    Calum Barnes
    Morning Star

Alexander Trocchi

Alexander Trocchi (1925–84) left Glasgow University with the honours of a brilliant philosophy scholar. In Paris, he founded Merlin – the outstanding literary magazine – wrote novels for Olympia Press, experimented with heroin and became hooked. He is best known for Cain’s Book and Young Adam.