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James Kelman Scotland    PWF 1996

James Kelman

He grew up in an inner city tenement in Govan, Scotland, and openly describes that when he began to write he wanted his stories to reflect that upbringing: “The stories I wanted to write would derive from my own socio-cultural experience…I wanted to write as one of my own people.”

Kelman published his first short story collection in the 1970s, and since then has developed a unique style grounded not in his writing but in his “cultural and political activism.”  He has been deeply involved with social justice issues and left wing causes in Scotland and the United Kingdom, and is a self-described libertarian socialist anarchist.  In 1989 he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, in 1994 his stream of consciousness novel How Late It Was, How Late won the Booker Prize, and his short story collection The Good Times received the Stakis Prize for Scottish Writer of the Year in 1998.

Kelman currently lives in Glasgow with his wife and children, and last published a novel, Kieron Smith, boy, in 2008.