A. L. Kennedy (Alison Louise Kennedy) Biography
(1965– ), (Alison Louise Kennedy), Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains, Now That You're Back
Scottish novelist and short-story writer, born in Dundee, educated at Warwick University. Her highly acclaimed first collection of stories, Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains (1990; John Llewelyn Prize), concerns the ‘small lives’ of the ‘silent majority’. Now That You're Back (1994) contains the caustic story ‘Mouseboks Family Dictionary’ in which a writer describes her craft as ‘Warming my hands and telling lies’. Kennedy's first novel, Looking for the Possible Dance (1993; Somerset Maugham Award), concerns a young woman, her father, and her lover, the victim of an appalling act of brutality in the novel's climax. Kennedy was selected as one of the twenty Best of Young British Novelists in 1993. In So I Am Glad (1995), which combines Swiftian satire, allegory, and love story, Cyrano de Bergerac steps into the life of a professional enunciator who has retreated from urban disaffection and memories of abuse into emotional dislocation and sadism. Guilt, loss, and violence inform Kennedy's much acclaimed work. Her intensely focused prose, shaped by austerity and economy, balances tenderness with despair.
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