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A. L. Kennedy - Author

About the Author

A. L. Kennedy has twice been selected as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists and has won a host of other awards - including the Costa Book of the Year for her novel Day. She lives in London and is a part-time lecturer in creative writing at Warwick University.

Featured books by A. L. Kennedy

Serious Sweet

Serious Sweet

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/05/2016

A good man in a bad world, Jon Sigurdsson is 59 and divorced: a senior civil servant in Westminster who hates many of his colleagues and loathes his work for a government engaged in unmentionable acts. A man of conscience. Meg Williams is 'a bankrupt accountant - two words you don't want in the same sentence, or anywhere near your CV'. She's 45 and shakily sober, living on Telegraph Hill, where she can see London unfurl below her. Somewhere out there is safety. Somewhere out there is Jon, pinballing around the city with a mobile phone and a letter-writing habit he can't break. He's a man on the brink, leaking government secrets and affection as he runs for his life. Set in 2014, this is a novel of our times.

Other books by A. L. Kennedy

Now That You're Back

Now That You're Back

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/10/2018

Exposing and exploring the sinuous undercurrents of violence, anguish and love, A.L. Kennedy examines the nature of the individual, both in isolation and society, as characters define and deny their chosen identities. While showing us the unlikeliness of intimacy and the impossibility of communication, Kennedy also reveals the subversive liberation of impotence, the humour of discomfort as human beings chafe together, the crazed claustrophobia of the family adn the wildly funny results of an eccentricity unleashed.

Night Geometry And The Garscadden Trains

Night Geometry And The Garscadden Trains

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/10/2018

The heroes and heroines of Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains, A. L. Kennedy's first collection of stories, are small people - the kind who inhabit the silence in libraries, who never appear on screen and who never make the headlines. Often alone and sometimes lonely, her characters ponder the mysteries of sex and death... and the ability of public transport to affect our lives.

The Blue Book

The Blue Book

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 18/10/2018

You are crossing the Atlantic on a liner with your boyfriend who may or may not be planning to propose. You are fleeing the past - your ex-lover Arthur, the man who helped you dupe the vulnerable into believing loved ones were trying to make contact from beyond the grave. But there's a secret you've kept from Arthur, a deception about the two of you that threatens to emerge when you discover Arthur's presence on the boat.

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Pajimminy-Crimminy Unusual Adventure

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Pajimminy-Crimminy Unusual Adventure

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: eBook Release Date: 05/04/2018

The second book in a hilarious, heart-warming series for children from Costa Award-winning author A.L. Kennedy, illustrated by Gemma Correll.Badger Bill loves his best friend Uncle Shawn. But he has started to notice that Uncle Shawn is a bit unusual.Dr P'Klawz hates Uncle Shawn. He has also noticed that Uncle Shawn is a bit unusual - pajimminy crimminy unusual, in fact.It looks like Badger Bill is going to need a plan, or Uncle Shawn might be sent to the Institution for Maximum Security and Unusualness Curing for ever. But all Bill has to help him are four bickering llamas, one pirate boy and one invisible girl. What could possibly go wrong?

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Pajimminy-Crimminy Unusual Adventure

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Pajimminy-Crimminy Unusual Adventure

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: eBook Release Date: 05/04/2018

The second book in a hilarious, heart-warming series for children from Costa Award-winning author A.L. Kennedy, illustrated by Gemma Correll.Badger Bill loves his best friend Uncle Shawn. But he has started to notice that Uncle Shawn is a bit unusual.Dr P'Klawz hates Uncle Shawn. He has also noticed that Uncle Shawn is a bit unusual - pajimminy crimminy unusual, in fact.It looks like Badger Bill is going to need a plan, or Uncle Shawn might be sent to the Institution for Maximum Security and Unusualness Curing for ever. But all Bill has to help him are four bickering llamas, one pirate boy and one invisible girl. What could possibly go wrong?

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Pajimminy-Crimminy Unusual Adventure

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Pajimminy-Crimminy Unusual Adventure

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/03/2018

The second book in a hilarious, heart-warming series for children from Costa Award-winning author A.L. Kennedy, illustrated by Gemma Correll. Badger Bill loves his best friend Uncle Shawn. But he has started to notice that Uncle Shawn is a bit unusual. Dr P'Klawz hates Uncle Shawn. He has also noticed that Uncle Shawn is a bit unusual - pajimminy crimminy unusual, in fact. It looks like Badger Bill is going to need a plan, or Uncle Shawn might be sent to the Institution for Maximum Security and Unusualness Curing for ever. But all Bill has to help him are four bickering llamas, one pirate boy and one invisible girl. What could possibly go wrong?

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2018

The first book in a hilarious, heart-warming series for children from Costa Award-winning author A. L. Kennedy, illustrated by Gemma Correll. Badger Bill needs rescuing. He's been kidnapped by two nasty sisters who are about to make him fight a boxing match against three even nastier dogs. The four most depressed llamas in the history of llamas need rescuing too. They are about to be turned into llama pies. But never fear - Uncle Shawn is here! He loves rescuing things. He has a rescuing plan, which involves dancing, and a mole, and an electric fence. What could possibly go wrong?

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: eBook Release Date: 02/02/2017

The first book in a hilarious, heartwarming new series for children from Costa Book of the Year Award-winning author A. L. KennedyThe first book in a hilarious new series from Costa Book of the Year-winning author A. L. Kennedy, featuring a polite badger, the world's most depressed llamas, and an eccentric but extremely kind uncle named Shawn.Badger Bill is having a very bad evening - possibly the worst of his whole life. He's been just been kidnapped by the McGloone sisters, two huge, mean women with eyes the colour of bad-flavoured boiled sweets. In just two days time, they're going to dress him in unflattering shorts and make him fight Ripper, Snapper and Cracker, three vicious, unimaginatively named dogs. The only things in the world that are more depressed than Bill are four llamas who are about to be made into pies by the unpleasant McGloone sisters' even less pleasant brother, Farmer McGloone. But it's all right, because Uncle Shawn is here, and he has a plan - or part of one. He's going to rescue Badger Bill and the four llamas with the help of a friendly mole and a few squirrels. As long as his plan works. It involves quite a lot of dancing for a rescue mission - can Uncle Shawn really pull off his plan and save the day?

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure

Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/02/2017

The first book in a hilarious, heart-warming series for children from Costa Award-winning author A. L. Kennedy, illustrated by Gemma Correll. Badger Bill needs rescuing. He's been kidnapped by two nasty sisters who are about to make him fight a boxing match against three even nastier dogs. The four most depressed llamas in the history of llamas need rescuing too. They are about to be turned into llama pies. But never fear - Uncle Shawn is here! He loves rescuing things. He has a rescuing plan, which involves dancing, and a mole, and an electric fence. What could possibly go wrong?

Serious Sweet

Serious Sweet

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Hardback Release Date: 19/05/2016

A good man in a bad world, Jon Sigurdsson is 59 and divorced: a senior civil servant in Westminster who hates many of his colleagues and loathes his work for a government engaged in unmentionable acts. A man of conscience. Meg Williams is 'a bankrupt accountant - two words you don't want in the same sentence, or anywhere near your CV'. She's 45 and shakily sober, living on Telegraph Hill, where she can see London unfurl below her. Somewhere out there is safety. Somewhere out there is Jon, pinballing around the city with a mobile phone and a letter-writing habit he can't break. He's a man on the brink, leaking government secrets and affection as he runs for his life. Set in 2014, this is a novel of our times.

Doctor Who: The Drosten's Curse

Doctor Who: The Drosten's Curse

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 21/01/2016

Isn't life terrible? Isn't it all going to end in tears? Won't it be good to just give up and let something else run my mind, my life? Something distinctly odd is going on in Arbroath. It could be to do with golfers being dragged down into the bunkers at the Fetch Brothers' Golf Spa Hotel, never to be seen again. It might be related to the strange twin grandchildren of the equally strange Mrs Fetch - owner of the hotel and fascinated with octopuses. It could be the fact that people in the surrounding area suddenly know what others are thinking, without anyone saying a word. Whatever it is, the Doctor is most at home when faced with the distinctly odd. With the help of Fetch Brothers' Junior Receptionist Bryony, he'll get to the bottom of things. Just so long as he does so in time to save Bryony from quite literally losing her mind, and the entire world from destruction. Because something huge, ancient and alien lies hidden beneath the ground - and it's starting to wake up...

Paradise

Paradise

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/08/2015

Almost forty and with nothing to show for it, Hannah Luckraft is starting to realise that her lifestyle is not sustainable. Her soul is unwell, her family is wounded, her friends are odd, her body is unreliable and her drinking is out of control. Robert, a dissolute dentist, appears to offer a love she can understand, but he may only be one more symptom of her problem. From Scotland to Dublin, from London to Montreal, to Budapest and onwards, Hannah travels in search of the ultimate altered state - her paradise.

Doctor Who: The Drosten's Curse A 4th Doctor novel

Doctor Who: The Drosten's Curse A 4th Doctor novel

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 16/07/2015

An original novel by A.L. Kennedy featuring the Fourth Doctor, as played by Tom Baker in the BBC TV series. Something distinctly odd is going on in Arbroath. It could be to do with golfers being dragged down into the bunkers at the Fetch Brothers' Golf Spa Hotel, never to be seen again. It might be related to the strange twin grandchildren of the equally strange Mrs Fetch - owner of the hotel and fascinated with octopuses. It could be the fact that people in the surrounding area suddenly know what others are thinking, without anyone saying a word. Whatever it is, the Doctor is most at home when faced with the distinctly odd. With the help of Fetch Brothers' Junior Receptionist Bryony, he'll get to the bottom of things. Just so long as he does so in time to save Bryony from quite literally losing her mind, and the entire world from destruction. Because something huge, ancient and alien lies hidden beneath the ground - and it's starting to wake up...

All the Rage

All the Rage

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2015

The dazzling new collection from the Costa Prize-winning author of Day and The Blue Book. She doesn't ever lie to him unless it's for the best. A husband and wife wait for a train as their relationship unspools silently around them. A woman contemplates the idea of her lover dying as she queues in a bank. An almost impossibly uncomfortably lunch culminates in a passionate kiss. In this dazzling collection of stories lies the battlefield of the heart, where characters who have suffered somehow emerge - haltingly, awkwardly - into the astonishment of intimacy.

On Writing

On Writing

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/03/2014

After six novels, five story collections and two books of non-fiction, and countless international prizes, A.L. Kennedy certainly has the authority to talk about the craft of writing books - it's just a wonder she's found the time. These are missives from the authorial front line - urgent and vivid, full of the excitement, fury and frustration of trying to make thousands of words into a publishable book. At the core of On Writing is the hugely popular blog that Kennedy writes for the Guardian - and we follow her during a three-year period when she finished one collection of stories and started another, and wrote a novel in between. Readers and aspiring writers will have almost everything they need to know about the complexities of researching, writing and publishing fiction, but they will be receiving this wisdom conversationally, from one of the funniest and most alert of our contemporary authors. Alongside the blogs are brilliant essays on character, voice, writers' workshops and writers' health and the book ends with the transcript of Kennedy's celebrated one-person show about writing and language that she has performed round the world to huge acclaim. Read together, all these pieces add up to the most intimate master-class imaginable from one of the finest - and most humane - writers in our language.

What Becomes

What Becomes

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/08/2010

A.L. Kennedy's fifth collection of short stories show us exactly what becomes of the broken-hearted. Her characters are perfectly ordinary people - whose marriages founder; who sit on their own in a cinema watching a film with no soundtrack; who risk sex in a hotel with an anonymous stranger or who order a luxurious meal as their lives fall apart - but the stories she weaves around them are truly remarkable. She reveals the sadness, violence, hurt and terror, but also the redemption and the love - and she does so with enormous human compassion and leaps of black humour. From the winner of the Costa Book Award for Day.

Day

Day

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 24/04/2008

Alfred Day wanted his war. In its turmoil he found his proper purpose as the tail-gunner in a Lancaster bomber; he found the wild, dark fellowship of his crew, and - most extraordinary of all - he found Joyce, a woman to love. But that's all gone now - the war took it away. Maybe it took him, too. Now in 1949, employed as an extra in a war film that echoes his real experience, Day begins to recall what he would rather forget...

Indelible Acts

Indelible Acts

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/04/2003

The twelve stories in Indelible Acts are variations on a theme of longing - the unassuagable human need for contact, for completion, for that most fugitive gift of all: reciprocal love. Its characters' lives are thwarted, dashed, impassioned, each in their own way immolated by hope. A queue outside a cheese shop leads to a thrilling infidelity; a crematorium funeral exposes a love gone sour; a foreign hotel room becomes a diorama of despair as physical sickness becomes a metaphor for incurable grief. In the title story, two lovers confront their lusts amid the ruins of Rome; in 'A Bad Son' a young boy from a damaged home searches for some kind of peace in the newly fallen snow.

On Bullfighting

On Bullfighting

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/07/2000

Bullfighting - the ultimate spectator sport. Acclaimed novelist A. L. Kennedy unpeels the layers and explains the mechanics before dissecting them with surgical precision. Beyond the theatre, the costume and the well-worn plot she focuses on the fact that a man faces his death while a crowd looks on. The result is a startling confrontation with her own, and mankind's, mortality.

Everything You Need

Everything You Need

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/05/2000

Nathan Staples is consumed by loathing and love in roughly equal measures. Frustrated by his life and the way he lives it, he is sustained only by his passionate devotion for his estranged wife and their teenage daughter, Mary. When Nathan contrives to have Mary invited to the island where he lives in retreat, he sets in motion the possiblity of telling her he is her father, and becoming whole and complete and alive again.

On Bullfighting

On Bullfighting

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/10/1999

People have always been fascinated by the bull, its violent beauty and innate appeal as a symbol of sexual power. And the elaborate choreography of the bullfight also provides an opportunity to confront the other great obsession - death. To watch a bullfight is an extraordianry act of voyeurism. Beyond the theatre, the costumes and the well-worn plot is the fact that a man faces death while the crowd looks on. And so people are drawn to the areana to witness the ultimate spectator sport. They go to admire gracefulness and agility; to be horrified by the proximity of death; to witness a spectacle - all part of the business of watching an animal die. And that's why people argue about bullfighting - whether it is a sport, an art form, or simply a type of stylized torture. The author explores them all, guiding the reader through the maelstrom of ideas.

Original Bliss

Original Bliss

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/01/1998

The stories collected in Original Bliss are concerned, appropriately, with the complexities of sex and the lack of it. In the long novella that gives the book its title, Helen Brindle thinks she has lost God - but it is simply love that she's missing. She can't find it at home, with the violent, deadly Mr Brindle, but will she find it in Stuttgart when she meets the enigmatic Edward E. Gluck, with his Process and his paraphernalia? And what happens when her father confessor starts to confess? A beautiful and terrifying examination of passion and pornography, of the aching need for completion and healing.

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/1997

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, released in 1943, is regarded as one of the masterpieces of British cinema. In this interpretation of the film, A.L. Kennedy finds it to be a complex and richly ambiguous dissection of what it means to be English, and what it is to be at home .

So I Am Glad

So I Am Glad

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/03/1996

Jennifer M. Wilson has decided to become a voice. A professional enunciator, an announcer, a voice-over artist, she has retreated into a world of words. Behind the sound-proof double doors of the recording studio she must surely be safe from the painful inconveniences of hate and love. Until reality breaks in and Jennifer uncovers the harsh vocabulary of addiction and the addictive extremes of sex. -An alchemical romance, a Swiftian satire for our times, an impossible spiritual journey and a devastating plummet into insanity and perversion, So I Am Glad is oblique, incisive, hilarious and horrific.

Looking For The Possible Dance

Looking For The Possible Dance

Author: A. L. Kennedy Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 14/02/1994

Mary Margaret Hamilton was educated in Scotland. She was born there too. These may not have been the best possible options, but they were the only ones on offer at the time. Although her father did his best, her knowledge of life is perhaps a little incomplete. Margaret knows the best way to look at the moon, how to wake on time and how to breathe fire. Now she must learn how to live. A. L. Kennedy's absorbing, moving and gently political first novel dissects the intricate difficulties of human relationships, from Margaret's passionate attachment to her father and her more problematic involvement with Colin, her lover, to the wider social relations between pupil and teacher, employer and employee, individual and state.

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