Sunday, September 26, 2010

Now That You're Back - A.L.Kennedy

A L Kennedy's ( Alison Louise Kennedy) name have been coming up in my reading circle for a while and I haven't  read any of her works. This book, one of her early writings was the one I could get hold off. A collection of short stories as the blurb say "exposing and exploring the sinuous undercurrents of violence, anguish and love" is a good introduction to this gifted writer.

The collection of 13 stories has its own draw backs. Most of the stories are of people living in isolation, trying to find their own feet within the society and within themselves. These are not the characters you feel closeness or sympathy. There is a level of detachment and possibly that could be one of the inhibition in approaching this book. The later half of the book, I somehow found to be more interesting especially stories like 'Mixing with the folks back home  ( about a serial killer), warming my hand and telling lies ( a retired writer ), and friday payday ( about a prostitute) .  She has also experimented with the form in 'Mouseboks Family Dictionary'.

She has incredible style of writing and with sly humor. The prose is very moving at places and seldom loud. I find each emotion, be it anger, love or friendship is treated tenderly with balanced approach. This alone is enough for me to hunt and buy one of her full length novel. 

Unlike James Kelman (another Scottish writer), I find her characters away from the mainstream society. Personally I find more closure to Kelman's characters than to this one.

Now That You're Back ( 1994 )


Vintage Books

248 Pages

Rs 525/-
Other Reviews : Independent 

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