James Kelman


Born
in Glasgow, Scotland
June 09, 1946

Genre

Influences


Kelman says:

My own background is as normal or abnormal as anyone else's. Born and bred in Govan and Drumchapel, inner city tenement to the housing scheme homeland on the outer reaches of the city. Four brothers, my mother a full time parent, my father in the picture framemaking and gilding trade, trying to operate a one man business and I left school at 15 etc. etc. (...) For one reason or another, by the age of 21/22 I decided to write stories. The stories I wanted to write would derive from my own background, my own socio-cultural experience. I wanted to write as one of my own people, I wanted to write and remain a member of my own community.

During the 1970s he published a first collection of short stories. He became involved in Philip H
...more

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“Ninety-nine per cent of traditional English literature concerns people who never have to worry about money at all. We always seem to be watching or reading about emotional crises among folk who live in a world of great fortune both in matters of luck and money; stories and fantasies about rock stars and film stars, sporting millionaires and models; jet-setting members of the aristocracy and international financiers.”
James Kelman

“But lassies are trained for it, in a manner of speaking; it's part of the growing-up process for them, young females. It doesn't happen with boys, just if you're a lassie, you've got to learn how not to talk; plus how not to look, you get trained how not to look. How not to look and how not to talk. You get trained how not to do things.”
James Kelman

“Waiting rooms. Ye go into this room where ye wait. Hoping’s the same. One of these days the cunts’ll build entire fucking buildings just for that. Official hoping rooms, where ye just go in and hope for whatever the fuck ye feel like hoping for.”
James Kelman, How Late it Was, How Late

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