James Kelman

BookJames Kelman

James Kelman

Writers and their Work


August 1st, 2004

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One of the most powerful and provocative writers to have emerged in Britain in recent years, James Kelman has engendered a good deal of controversy over his widely reported, but often misconceived use of ‘bad’ language words. This introduction to the whole range of his works, from the early short stories through the plays and essays to the Booker Prize winning novel How Late it Was, How Late and the latest experimental fiction, examines the embattled Kelman’s literary politics. H. Gustav Klaus pays close attention to the Scottish culture in which Kelman’s writing was nurtured, to the uncompromising treatment of the ‘underclass’, the intricacies of the narrative voice and the existentialist anguish behind it. A writer of international reputation now, Kelman’s principled anti-authoritarianism raises uncomfortable questions about the continuing reality of class, dominant social and literary values and the role of writers in our time.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Half Title2
Title Page4
Biographical Outline8
1 Introduction: ‘Fucking Realism’12
2 Footloose in Country and City: The Early Short Stories21
3 Unsettlingly Settled: The Busconductor Hines and A Chancer41
4 Authority Flouted: The Plays and Essays56
5 Contacts, Tensions, Emotions: Greyhound for Breakfast and The Burn74
6 Under Surveillance, Resisting: A Disaffection; How Late it Was, How Late and Translated Accounts87
7 Postscript: You Have to be Careful in the Land of the Free103