James Kelman is one of the most important Scottish writers now living. His fiction is widely acclaimed, and widely caricatured. His art declares war on stereotypes, but is saddled with plenty of its own. This book attempts to disentangle Kelman's writing from his reputation, clarifying his literary influences and illuminating his political commitments. It is the first book to cover the full range and depth of Kelman's work, explaining his position within genres such as the short story and the polemical essay, and tracing his interest in anti-colonial politics and existential thought. Essays by leading experts combine lucid accounts of the heated debates surrounding Kelman's writing, with a sharp focus on the effects and innovations of that writing itself. Kelman's own reception by reviewers and journalists is examined as a shaping factor in the development of his career. Chapters situate Kelman's work in critical contexts ranging from masculinity to vernacular language, cover influences from Chomsky to Kafka, and pursue the implications of Kelman's rhetoric from Glasgow localism to 'World English'.
Edinburgh Companion to James Kelman
Edinburgh University Press