Friday, 8 April 2011

'If it is Your Life', James Kelman

If it is Your Life, James Kelman
Kelman won the Booker Prize in 1994 and has recently been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. The stories in this collection are full of 'rough-hewn insights' which often 'act as a cover for some delicate observation of the characters' interactions, with a special emphasis on bashful, masculine tenderness.' Stories like 'Talking About My Wife' exemplify this tenderness and demonstrate Kelman's mastery of stream of consciousness narration and beautifully observed dialogue. In the memorably titled 'Pieces of Shit Do Not Have the Power to Speak', Kelman writes 'I belonged to that class of fellow whose existence antagonized a particular kind of older male', a problem that many of the narrators of these stories endure, and which can be seen as a continuation of Kelman's exploration of working-class life in a world where the middle-classes have the power. Stories I particularly enjoyed included the paraodic 'Our Times' and the excellent 'Talking About My Wife.'
Read reviews of this collection here and here.
Read an interview with Kelman here

1 comment:

  1. I will definitely read this book. He is a fantastic writer. I have met him, indeed was lucky enough to spend some time in his company a few years ago and he is an inspiring person.