A L Kennedy
(born 1965 - ) - Dundee
In 1993, A L Kennedy featured on a Granta list of Best Young British Novelists (along with such luminaries as Kazuo Ishiguro, Iain Banks, Hanif Kureishi, Ben Okri, and Alan Hollinghurst, to name but a few) and did not subsequently disappoint: her work has been consistently original, exciting and ground breaking.
Born Alison Louise Kennedy in Dundee in 1965, she attended school in Dundee before taking a degree in Theatre Studies and Drama at Warwick University. After a series of jobs, she began her writing career with the short story collection, Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains, published by Polygon in 1991. That was followed up by a succession of highly-acclaimed novels and short story collections. Kennedy has recently been seen on the stage with a stand-up act: a brave move, as she is a writer who does not court the limelight willingly.
Her latest novel is the Costa-award-winning Day, was published in April 2007. She also writes a blog on writing for The Guardian.
- Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains - 1991
- Looking for the Possible Dance - 1993
- Now that you’re Back - 1994
- So I Am Glad - 1995
- Original Bliss - 1997
- The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp - 1997
- Everything You Need - 1999
- On Bullfighting - 1999
- Indelible Acts - 2002
- Paradise - 2004
- Day - 2007
- What Becomes - 2009
- The Blue Book - 2011
- Add to BasketThe Blue Book - Hardback
Elizabeth Barber is crossing the Atlantic by liner with her perfectly adequate boyfriend, Derek, who might be planning to propose. In fleeing the UK temporarily, Elizabeth may also be in flight from her past and the charismatic Arthur, once her partner. But as the voyage progresses, Elizabeth's past is slowly revealed.
- Add to BasketDay - Paperback
Alfred Day wanted his war. In its turmoil he found his proper purpose as the tail-gunner in a Lancaster bomber; he found the wild, dark fellowship of his crew, and - most extraordinary of all - he found Joyce, a woman to love. But that's all gone now - the war took it away. Maybe it took him, too.
- Everything You Need - Paperback
Frustrated and appalled by his life and the way he lives it, Nathan Staples is sustained only by his passionate devotion for his estranged wife and teenage daughter. Nathan's path to becoming complete and alive again will be strewn with obstacles.
- Looking For The Possible Dance - Paperback
A first novel which dissects the intricate difficulties of human relationships, from a Scotswoman's passionate attachment to her father and her more problematic involvement with her lover, to the wider social relations between pupil and teacher, employer and employee, individual and state.
- Night Geometry And The Garscadden Trains - Paperback
The heroes and heroines of this, A.L. Kennedy's first collection of stories, are small people. Often alone and sometimes lonely, her characters ponder the mysteries of sex and death - and the ability of public transport to affect our lives.
- Now That You're Back - Paperback
Exposing and exploring the sinous undercurrents of violence, anguish and love the stories in this collection examine the nature of the individual, both in isolation and society.
- Add to BasketOn Bullfighting - Paperback
Sex and death are brought together in bullfighting. A man faces death while the crowd looks on, and so people are drawn to the arena to witness the ultimate spectator sport. Here A.L. Kennedy explores all the definitions: sport, art form, stylised torture.
- Original Bliss - Paperback
The stories brought together in Original Bliss are concerned with the complexities of sex, and the lack of it. In the novella that gives the book its title, a woman thinks that she has lost God, but it is simply love that she is missing.
- Add to BasketParadise - Paperback
From the north-east of Scotland to Dublin, from London to Montreal, to Budapest and onwards, Hannah Luckraft travels beyond her limits, beyond herself, in search of the ultimate altered state: the one where she can be happy - her paradise.
- So I Am Glad - Paperback
From the author of Now That You're Back, this is the story of a professional enunciator and announcer who thinks that behind the doors of the recording studio she is safe from the inconvenience of love and hate. But reality eventually breaks in.
- Add to BasketWhat Becomes - Hardback
Always attuned to the moment of epiphany, these 12 stories are profound, intimate observations of men and women whose lives ache with possibility. Each story is a dramatisation of the instant in a life that exposes it all: love and the lack of love, hope and the lack of hope.
Books about A L Kennedy
- National Library of Scotland: The Write Stuff
- The Official Site for A L Kennedy
- A L Kennedy on writing : The Guardian Blog
- British Council profile
- BBC Writing Scotland site
- Spike Magazine interview on Original Bliss (1997)
- Maud Newton interviews Kennedy (2004)
- The Independent 5-Minute interview with A L Kennedy (2007)
- The Observer interview with Kennedy (2007)
- Edinburgh City Reads: A L Kennedy, February 2010