• Books,  Children's Books,  Recent Publications

    The Little Snake

    This is the story of Mary, a young girl born in a beautiful city full of rose gardens and fluttering kites. When she is still very small, Mary meets Lanmo, a shining golden snake, who becomes her very best friend.The snake visits Mary many times, he sees her city change, become sadder as bombs drop and war creeps in. He sees Mary and her family leave their home, he sees her grow up and he sees her fall in love. But Lanmo knows that the day will come when he can no longer visit Mary, when his destiny will break them apart, and he wonders whether having a friend can possibly be…

  • Books,  Recent Publications

    24 Stories

    In the early hours of 14 June 2017, a fire engulfed the 24-storey Grenfell Tower in west London, killing at least 72 people and injuring many more. An entire community was destroyed. For many people affected by this tragedy, the psychological scars may never heal. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that affects many people who have endured traumatic events, leaving them unable to move on from life-changing tragedies. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the focus was rightly placed on providing food, shelter and health care for those left homeless – but it is important that we don’t lose sight of the psychological impact this fire will have…

  • Books,  Children's Books,  Recent Publications

    Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Pajimminy Crimminy Unusual Adventure

    Uncle Shawn has rescued Badger Bill from the horrible MacGloones, and the two best friends are living happily with their llama friends on their llama farm. Only, Bill isn’t sure he is happy. He seems to be making a lot of scones and pancakes and sandwiches for greedy llamas, and not getting much help from Uncle Shawn. To make things worse, a nasty man with shiny shoes and squeaky teeth called Dr. P’Klawz has arrived. He hates fun and unusualness, and it just so happens that Uncle Shawn is the most fun and unusual person around. This time it’s Bill who needs to come up with a plan to rescue…

  • Books,  Children's Books

    Uncle Shawn and Bill and the Almost Entirely Unplanned Adventure

    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? “Kennedy relishes her technicolour villains (Maude and Ethel McGloone could out-nasty Dahl’s Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker) and shares David Walliam’s knack for psychological observation (the sisters live in “a…

  • Books

    Serious Sweet

    A good man in a bad world, Jon Sigurdsson is fifty-nine and divorced, a senior civil servant in London who hates many of his colleagues and loathes his work for a government engaged in unmentionable acts. Meg Williams is a bankrupt accountant—two words you don’t want in the same sentence, or anywhere near your résumé. She’s forty-five and shakily sober, living on Telegraph Hill in London, where she can see the city unfurl below her. Somewhere out there is Jon, pinballing around the city with a cell phone and a letter-writing habit he can’t break. He’s a man on the brink, leaking government secrets and affection for a woman he…

  • Books

    The Drosten’s Curse

    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.…

  • Books

    The Great War

    Stories Inspired by Items from the First World War On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, the world remembers the sixteen million people killed during the First World War. A hundred years after the fighting began, eleven acclaimed writers take inspiration from eleven objects from the First World War. From a soldier’s writing case to the nose of a Zeppelin bomb, each object illuminates an aspect of the war, and each story reminds us of the millions of lives that it changed for ever.

  • Books

    All The Rage

    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.

  • Books

    Doctor Who: The Death Pit (Time Trips)

    Something odd is going on at the Fetch Brothers Golf Spa Hotel. Receptionist Bryony Mailer has noticed a definite tendency towards disappearance amongst the guests. She’s tried talking to the manager, she’s even tried talking to the owner who lives in one of the best cottages in the grounds, but to no avail. And then a tall, loping remarkably energetic guest (wearing a fetching scarf and floppy hat) appears. The Fourth Doctor thinks he’s in Chicago. He knows he’s in 1978. And he also knows that if he doesn’t do something very clever very soon, matters will get very, very out of hand.

  • Books

    On Writing

    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…

  • Books

    The Blue Book

    Elizabeth Barber is crossing the Atlantic by liner with her boyfriend, Derek, who might be planning to propose. In fleeing the UK temporarily, Elizabeth may also be in flight from her past and the charismatic Arthur, once her partner.

  • Books

    What Becomes

    In the title story, a man abandons his indifferent wife and wanders into a small-town movie theater where he finds himself just as invisible as he was at home. In the masterfully comic “Saturday Teatime,” a woman trying to relax in a flotation tank is hijacked by memories of her past. In “Whole Family with Young Children Devastated,” a woman, inadvertently drawn into a stranger’s marital dysfunction, meditates on the failings of modern life as seen through late-night television and early-morning walks.

  • Books

    Day

    Alfie Day, RAF airman and former World War II POW, never expected to survive the war. Now, five years later and more alone than ever, Alfie finds himself drawn to unearth those strange, passionate days by working as an extra on a POW film. What he will discover on the set about himself, his loves and the world around him will make the war itself look simple. Funny and moving, wise and sad, Day is a truly original look at the intensity and courage to be found in the closeness of death, from one of Britain’s most iconoclastic and highly acclaimed young writers. “Day is a novel of extraordinary complexity”—The…

  • Books

    Paradise

    Hannah Luckraft sells cardboard boxes for a living. Her family is so frustrated by her behavior they can barely stand to keep in touch with her. Each day is fueled by the promise of annihilation, the promise of a reprieve, the paradise that can only be found in a bottle. When Hannah meets Robert, a kindred spirit, the two become constant companions. Together and alone Hannah and Robert spiral through the beauty and depravity of a love affair with alcohol. Paradise is a spectacular novel of desire and oblivion.

  • Books

    Indelible Acts

    The love story (as well as the story of love lost, obsessed over, or longed for) gets a complete and thrilling renovation at the hands of the most virtuosic literary stylist to appear in the British Isles since Jeanette Winterson. A. L. Kennedy’s men and women huddle in foreign hotel rooms, immobilized by travel-sickness and betrayal. They plan seductions on the line at a cheese shop. They’re undone by a passing embrace in the office men’s room. Their passion is so urgent and imperious that it invades the stories they tell their children. By turns chaste and ferociously sexy, funny and unbearably sad, every story in Indelible Acts is a…

  • Books

    On Bullfighting

    Bullfighting – this complicated, repellent, fascinating, grotesque, sacramental, ugly, ritualistic, haphazard and blasphemous fight. Hemingway, Conrad and Lorca have all written about it, now it’s the turn of acclaimed novelist AL Kennedy. Unpeeling the layers she looks beyond the theatre, the costume, the erotic dance and the well-worn plot and focuses on the fact that a man faces his death while a crowd looks on. ‘On Bullfighting casts an unofficial eye over a world of male exploit; the public spectacles are treated with a fresh particularity, the inner landscapes of pain with an ardent, high-risk honesty’ Julian Barnes ‘informative, minutely observed and beautifully written’ Dea Birkett, THE INDEPENDENT Kennedy notches…

  • Books

    Original Bliss

    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. Watch the film (German) Gleissendes…

  • Books

    The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

    Winston Churchill hated The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, and tried to have it banned when it was released in 1943. But Martin Scorsese, a champion of directors Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, considers it a masterpiece. It’s a film about desires repressed in favour of worthless and unsatisfying ideals. And it’s a film about how England dreamt of itself as a nation and how this dream disguised inadequacy and brutality in the clothes of honour. A. L. Kennedy, writing as a Scot, is fascinated by the nationalism which The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp explores. She finds human worth in the film and the pathos of stifled…

  • Books

    So I Am Glad

    M. Jennifer Wilson is a mid-thirties radio announcer living in Glasgow. She shares a house with Art and Liz, two typical Scotland thirtysomethings, but her life takes a drastic turn with the arrival of her new housemate, an elusive man who glows in the dark and can’t remember his name. He soon reveals himself to be none other than Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac, the famed writer and duelist of eighteenth-century France, and what unfolds is a love story stark and surreal, tender and humane.

  • Books

    Now That You’re Back

    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 and the wildly funny results of an eccentricity unleashed.

  • Books

    Looking For Possible Dance

    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, and how to wake on time.

  • Books

    Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains

    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.

  • Books

    Everything You Need

    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 possibility of telling her he is her father, and becoming whole and complete and alive again.