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Encyclopedia > James Kelman

James Kelman (born in Glasgow on June 9, 1946) is an influential writer of novels, short stories and plays. His novel A Disaffection was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction in 1989. Kelman won the 1994 Booker Prize with 'How Late It Was, How Late' and aroused something of a controversy in doing so: one of the judges, Rabbi Julia Neuberger, called the book 'a disgrace' and marched off the panel when it was announced that Kelman had won. In 1998 Kelman was awarded the Scotland on Sunday/Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award. Glasgow (or Glaschu in Gaelic) is Scotlands largest city and unitary council, situated on the River Clyde in the countrys west central lowlands. ... June 9 is the 160th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (161st in leap years), with 205 days remaining. ... 1946 (MCMXLVI) was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... DeFoes Robinson Crusoe, Newspaper edition published in 1719 A novel (from French nouvelle, new) is an extended fictional narrative in prose. ... This article is in need of attention. ... A play is a common form of literature, usually consisting chiefly of dialog between characters, and usually intended for performance rather than reading. ... The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known as the Man Booker Prize, or simply the Man Booker, is one of the worlds most important literary prizes, and awarded each year for the best original novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland in... Founded in 1919, the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes are among the oldest and most prestigious book awards in Britain. ... 1994 (MCMXCIV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known as the Man Booker Prize, or simply the Man Booker, is one of the worlds most important literary prizes, and awarded each year for the best original novel written by a citizen of the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland in...

During the 1970s he published a first collection of short stories. He became involved in Philip Hobsbaum's creative writing group in Glasgow along with Tom Leonard, Alasdair Gray and Liz Lochhead, and his short stories began to appear in magazines. These stories introduced a distinctive style, expressing first person internal monologues in a pared-down prose utilising vernacular Glaswegian speech patterns, though avoiding for the most part the quasi-phonetic rendition of Tom Leonard. Kelman's developing style has been influential on the succeeding generation of Scottish novelists, including Irvine Welsh, Alan Warner and Janice Galloway. In 1998, Kelman received the Stakis Prize for "Scottish Writer of the Year" for his collection of short stories 'The Good Times.' The 1970s decade refers to the years from 1970 to 1979, inclusive. ... Philip Hobsbaum (born 29 June 1932) is an academic, poet and critic. ... Creative writing is a term used to distinguish certain imaginative or different types of writing from generic writing. ... ... A monologue, which comes from the Greek words mono and logos meaning one word, is a speech by one person directly addressing an audience. ... Also see Scottish colloquial terms. ... This is an alphabetical list of Scottish writers. ...

Kelman has been a prominent campaigner, notably in issues of social justice and traditional left wing causes, though he is not a party man by any means. He lives in Glasgow with his wife and children, though has also lived in London, Manchester, Australia and America.



Short stories

  • An Old Pub Near The Angel (1973)
  • Not Not While The Giro (1983)
  • Lean Tales (1985) (joint volume with Alasdair Gray and Agnes Owens)
  • Greyhound For Breakfast (1987)
  • The Burn (1991)
  • The Good Times (1998)

Alasdair Gray (born December 28, 1934) is a Scottish writer and artist. ...


  • The Busconductor Hines (1984)
  • A Chancer (1985)
  • A Disaffection (1989)
  • How Late It Was, How Late (1994) (winner of the Booker Prize)
  • Translated Accounts (2001)
  • You Have To Be Careful In The Land Of The Free (2004)


  • Some Recent Attacks (1992)
  • And The Judges Said (2002)

External links

  • James Kelman at www.contemporarywriters.com includes a "Critical Perspective" section
  • How Late It Was, How Late: a play created by Rude Mechanicals in Austin, Texas (2003)

  Results from FactBites:
The Modern Word - "You Have to Be Careful in the Land of the Free" Review (1521 words)
Described by Kelman as narrations of incidents “transcribed and/or translated into English, not always by persons native to the tongue,” this difficult novel turns language inside-out, filtering it through war, chaos, and technological alienation until all that remains is an uneasy sense of displacement for each of his anonymous voices.
Kelman’s “Land of the Free” is submerged within a constant undertow of paranoia, its mistrust of outsiders (or “furnirs” in Kelman-speak) having become fully institutionalized.
Kelman’s stream-of-consciousness prose paints a poignant picture of Jeremiah’s inner workings, probing deeply into his anxieties, his lack of confidence, and his quirky sense of humor in the face of such a harsh and uncaring landscape; his narrative is a pastiche of references to everything from Scottish folk lore to classic American films.
James Kelman was born in Glasgow in 1946, a city to which he turns once and again to place his fiction.
In this sense Kelman is in debt to that master of minimalism, Samuel Beckett, who used to leave his characters alone on an empty stage or granted them the possession of a few, simple objects.
It is not that James Kelman, or Irvine Welsh for that matter, had made a deep analysis of the outcome of political events in Scotland in the early nineties.
  More results at FactBites »



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