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If It Is Your Life

Best Seller
If It Is Your Life by James Kelman
Jul 15, 2014 | ISBN 9781590516232

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  • Jul 15, 2014 | ISBN 9781590516232

    Available from:

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“Kelman’s language is immediately exciting; like a musician, he uses repetition and rhythm to build structures out of short flights and circular meanderings. The working-class Glaswegian author knows exactly how his words will scathe delicate skins; he has a fine sense of attack.” —The New Yorker

“Feisty and poetic.” —The Boston Globe

“A set of strange tales that both frustrate and delight…[Kelman] is certainly more experimental, as this…collection shows, and he’s also a lot funnier. As well as being a keen observer of society’s underclasses and disenfranchised, Kelman also has a great eye for the absurdity of everyday life, something which comes to the fore in this collection…His impeccable command of language continues to make him an easy writer to admire.” —The Independent
“As always, [Kelman’s] at his best when transforming a fairly narrow spectrum of underclass experience into something uniquely pitched between Beckett and vernacular realism.” —The Guardian
“A masterful composer, Kelman makes writing look easy, and then infuses it with a sense of gravitas that can be, at times, breathtaking, in his own modest way.” —Booklist (starred review)

“This stuff is bloody brutal, and absolutely perfect.” —New City Lit

“In Kelman’s hands, words are deployed so seemingly realistically but, of course, so artfully, they feel closer to reality than hard truth. This collection is teeming with life, and with death, or worse, and, as the title indicates, it is our lives he is writing about, ours all. It is a tour de force from a writer who treats language as carefully as if it were gold, and ends up turning it into something even more precious.” —The Herald (Scotland)

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