Wednesday, 30 May 2012

A.L. Kennedy

I've read quite a lot of A.L.Kennedy's work over the years. I found "Day" difficult initially. Now I think it might be her best book but the other ones are always interesting. I prefer the short stories that she wrote in the 1990s to the earlier and later ones. As reading experiences her books sometimes disappoint me because too often the characters (perhaps because of shared pre-occupations or states of mind) sound much like each other. Perhaps material that used to enliven her stories now goes elsewhere, leaving her stories more monotone.

It's easy to find material by and about her. Her output includes short stories, novels, film criticism, cultural commentary, stage play, radio drama, film screenplay, newspaper journalism, radio and TV discussion programmes, and she's contributed to dance productions and TV drama documentaries. Her Guardian blog has interesting material, and her comments on reviews are fun. On YouTube you can find her doing stand-up

Kaye Mitchell's book will give you an overview. In it you'll find lists of Kennedy's recurring themes and this interesting quote on p.123 "I believe in God, I believe in love - they probably make very little sense without meaning much the same thing".

Here's a list of my notes

1 comment:

  1. Carrie has quite a collection of books by AL Kennedy but I think I’ve only read a couple, So I Am Glad and Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains and both were a while ago so I’m probably not well placed to criticise or praise here. I’ve seen her interviewed several times and she’s another one of those writers who, like Jeanette Winterson (another of my wife’s favourites—she has all her books), always talks about things in an interesting way; I love listening to articulate people talk. This is the first time I’ve seen her do stand-up though. She’s good. I bet Iain Banks and Ian Rankin could do stand-up too if they put their minds to it. There is a certain breed of author who seem to shine in front of an audience or a camera. For most I expect it’s a trial but all credit to those who can at least fake extrovertism (which if it’s not a real word it should be).