We Are Attempting to Survive Our Time
A master-class in the short story, from the Costa Book Award winning author of Day
A. L. Kennedy’s new collection of stories show us women and men wrestling with the lives they have been given and the times spinning out around them. Humour, fantasy, rage and despair both help and hinder individuals as they navigate their changing circumstances, their accumulating losses, their moments of comprehension and tenderness. Hoping for a quiet day at the zoo, a woman finally snaps at a white man’s racist tirade and vents years of fury; an American micro-celebrity practises lines for a chat show on which he will never appear; a woman walks out of her honeymoon suite at midnight, perhaps for good; and, in the extraordinary ‘New Mexico’, the host of a podcast reveals why she is haunted by that particular US state.
Wry, caustic and unsparing in her close examination of human relationships and their failures, A. L. Kennedy sees harder than most writers – ‘Other humans are very unhappy, but try to seem glad,’ one character writes. ‘People do their best.’ In this collection of raw, brilliant, unforgettable stories, A. L. Kennedy shows – once again – why she is regarded as one of our great writers.
[A] dark, dangerously funny collection. -- Eithne Farry * Daily Mail * [The] title and tone of [We Are Attempting to Survive Our Time] fit our current situation like a bespoke suit... Perfectly judged and moving. -- Rosemary Goring * Herald Scotland * Each story invites the reader to enter a very particular struggle with characters who not only feel real, but whose aching vulnerability will resonate long after the moment has ended... Formidably insightful, A.L. Kennedy's latest collection...is a shrewd examination of life's defining moments. * UK Press Syndication * Connoisseurs of short stories that pack an emotional punch will find plenty to admire in this fine new collection. -- Max Davidson * Mail on Sunday * AL Kennedy's seventh collection of stories is a quite astonishing...clear-eyed...masterclass in the possibilities of the short story form; comical, plangent... Words indeed for our times. -- Stuart Kelly * Scotsman * Striking, expertly constructed... Kennedy's exquisite blending of the limits of pain and courage recall Primo Levi. -- Catherine Taylor * Financial Times * AL Kennedy's latest collection of wise, funny, human short stories came at just the right time. I...emerged feeling better about the world than I had in a while... Kennedy is brilliant at subtly shifting the ground of her stories, gently rotating your perspective so that by the end you're facing in quite the other direction, not sure of how you got there... [There is] waspish intelligence at work here. -- Alex Preston * Observer *
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