Mary gray hughes

James Kelman’s ‘Memoirs’ are a misnomer

James Kelman doubtless remains best known for his 1994 Booker prize win for How Late It Was, How Late and the subsequent furore. The brouhaha looks painfully absurd 25 years later with the plaudits Kelman has received (when not being dismissed as akin to an ‘illiterate savage’) perhaps the greatest in post-war English literature. Here is a writer to stand alongside Zola, Beckett and Joyce.Yet since then it feels as though Kelman’s audience has grown more selective — a process perhaps aided by his move to the USA in 1998 to teach creative writing at the University of Texas at Austin. But with Kelman now in his 75th year, it’s