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What becomes

What becomes

Kennedy, A. L

Always attuned to the moment of epiphany, these 12 stories are profound, intimate observations of men and women whose lives ache with possibility. Each story is a dramatisation of the instant in a life that exposes it all: love and the lack of love, hope and the lack of hope

Paperback, Book. English.
Published London: Vintage, 2010
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Statement of responsibility: A.L. Kennedy
ISBN: 009949406X, 9780099494065
Note: Originally published: London: Jonathan Cape, 2009.
Physical Description: 218 p. ; 20 cm.
Subject: Short stories.

Author note

The author of five previous novels, two books of non-fiction, and five collections of short stories, A.L. Kennedy's last novel,Day, was the 2007 Costa Book of the Year. She has twice been selected as one ofGranta's Best of Young British Novelists and has won a host of other awards. She lives in Glasgow and is a part-time lecturer in creative writing at Warwick University.


"The hardest thing about the advent of a new collection of stories by A L Kennedy... is the search for synonyms for 'brilliant'. Her uncanny dialogue is as note-perfect as J D Salinger's her vision as astutely bleak as Alice Munro's, and her ability to summon up a society in a few strokes rivals William Trevor's"
Spectator||"A first-rate collection"
Sunday Telegraph||"A.L.Kennedy really dazzles, yet again, in her exceptional new collection"
Independent on Sunday||"Kennedy's new stories continue the courageous anatomy of emotional pain that has always been at the centre of her writing. Sometimes stomach churning, bleak and humorous in turn, she is rightly viewed as one of the most brilliant and eccentric writers of her generation"
The Times||"If you are at all interested in contemporary fiction, this is work you must not miss"

Back cover copy

'The hardest thing about the advent of a new collection of stories by AL Kennedy is the search for synonyms for 'brilliant''Spectator

'AL Kennedy really dazzles, yet again, in her exceptional new collection'Independent on Sunday

AL Kennedy's fifth remarkable collection of short stories shows 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.

'What Becomesmarshals all the virtues of her justly praised writing: unflinching insight, clear and spacious prose, a narrative voice that bounces between grave compassion and bantering wickedness and plenty of black comedy'Daily Telegraph

'Very funny and very angry'Guardian 'A first-rate collection'Sunday Telegraph

'Asad and often wickedly funny set of tales'Metro