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A. L. Kennedy

A. L. Kennedy
A.L. Kennedy in 2012
A.L. Kennedy in 2012
BornAlison Louise Kennedy
(1965-10-22) 22 October 1965 (age 58)
Dundee, Scotland
OccupationWriter, academic, comedian
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
EducationUniversity of Warwick

Alison Louise Kennedy (born 22 October 1965) is a Scots writer, academic and stand-up comedian. She writes novels, short stories and non-fiction, and is known for her dark tone and her blending of realism and fantasy. She contributes columns and reviews to European newspapers.[1]


Kennedy was born in Dundee to Edwardene Mildred, a teacher, and Robert Alan Kennedy, a psychology lecturer. Her parents divorced when she was 13. She attended the fee-paying High School of Dundee and went on to study for a BA Hons in Theatre Studies and Dramatic Arts at the University of Warwick.[2][3][4]

From 1987 to 1989,[citation needed] Kennedy was a community arts worker for Clydebank District Council. She then went on to a role as writer-in-residence for Hamilton and East Kilbride Social Work Department from 1989 to 1991. Her work there won a special Social Work Today Award in 1990. From 1989 to 1995 she worked on Project Ability, a Glasgow-based visual arts organisation. In 1995 she was a part-time lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.[4][5]

In 2009, she donated the short story Vanish to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project, four collections of stories written by 38 authors. Her story was published in the "Air" collection.[6] In 2016, her novel Serious Sweet was long-listed for the Booker Prize.

In December 2019, along with 42 other leading cultural figures, she signed a letter endorsing the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership in the 2019 general election. The letter stated that "Labour's election manifesto under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership offers a transformative plan that prioritises the needs of people and the planet over private profit and the vested interests of a few."[7][8]

In 2020 she began contributing a column on her views of Brexit to the German daily paper Süddeutsche Zeitung.[9] [10] [11] [12]

Kennedy currently lives in the Scottish Highlands, having moved from Wivenhoe[13] and has been an associate professor in Creative Writing at the University of Warwick[14] since 2007, having previously taught creative writing at the University of St Andrews from 2003 to 2007.

She has performed as a stand-up comedian at the Edinburgh Fringe and literary festivals. Her main comedy club has been The Stand Comedy Club in Edinburgh.[15]

Awards and honours



  • Looking for the Possible Dance (1993) ISBN 978-0-7493-9758-6
  • So I Am Glad (1995) ISBN 978-0-09-945721-3
  • Everything You Need (1999) ISBN 978-0-09-973061-3
  • Paradise (2004) ISBN 978-0-09-943349-1
  • Day (5 April 2007) ISBN 978-0-09-949405-8
  • The Blue Book (4 August 2011) ISBN 978-0-224-09140-4
  • Doctor Who: The Drosten's Curse (14 July 2015) ISBN 978-0-553-41944-3
  • Serious Sweet (19 May 2016) ISBN 978-0-224-09844-1
  • The Little Snake (6 November 2018) ISBN 978-1786893864
  • Als lebten wir in einem barmherzigen Land (20 March 2023) ISBN 978-3446276246

Short story collections


Film and TV

"Stella Does Tricks (1996) Channel 4 films "Dice (2001), with John Burnside

Selected radio

  • Confessions of a Medium (2010), broadcast as the Saturday Play on BBC Radio 4, 13 March 2010 and 1 March 2013[27]
  • Happy Families (2011), broadcast on BBC Radio 3, 1 September 2011
  • Love Love Love Like The Beatles (2012), broadcast as the Afternoon Drama on BBC Radio 4, 26 June 2012
  • AA: America's Gift to the World (2014), broadcast on BBC Radio 4, 6 April 2015[28]
  • Subterranean Homesick Blues (5 series beginning 2015), broadcast on BBC Radio 4 from 14 September 2015
  • A Single Act (first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 25th Dec, 2023)


  1. ^ "Am Rande des Wahnsinns" ("On the Edge of Insanity") in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, 23/24 October 2021, p. 15. A full-page article about a visit to the Channel Islands, translated to German from the original English by Annette Meyer-Prien.
  2. ^ Fox, Genevieve (5 August 2011). "AL Kennedy: interview". The Daily Telegraph.
  3. ^ "BBC Two – Writing Scotland – AL Kennedy". BBC. September 2004. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b Who's Who 2016. London: A&C Black. 2015. p. 1266. ISBN 978-1-472-90470-6.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g International Who's Who of Women 2014 (9th ed.). Abingdon: Routledge. 2014. p. 545. ISBN 9781857436945.
  6. ^ "Telling Tales", The Spectator, 1 July 2009.
  7. ^ "Vote for hope and a decent future". The Guardian. 3 December 2019. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  8. ^ Proctor, Kate (3 December 2019). "Coogan and Klein lead cultural figures backing Corbyn and Labour". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 December 2019.
  9. ^ Kennedy, A. L. (9 January 2020). "Popo, der Todesclown (Brexit-Kolumne "Affentheater")". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  10. ^ Kennedy, A. L. (14 January 2020). "Meghan und Harry wollen arbeiten? Unmöglich! (Brexit-Serie "Affentheater")". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  11. ^ Kennedy, A. L. (21 January 2020). "Englands größter Dildo (Kolumne "Affentheater")". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  12. ^ Kennedy, A. L. (29 January 2020). "Was lernen wir daraus? (Brexit-Kolumne "Affentheater")". Süddeutsche Zeitung. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  13. ^ [1], 3 June 2016
  14. ^ "AL Kennedy" Archived 17 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Courses, Creative Writing, Staff, University of Warwick
  15. ^ "AL Kennedy: interview", Daily Telegraph, 5 August 2011
  16. ^ "Granta Best Young British Novelists 2003". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  17. ^ a b c "Somerset Maugham past winners". The Society of Authors. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  18. ^ "HISTORY | Borderline Theatre Company". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  19. ^ A.L. Kennedy. "Encore". Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  20. ^ "A L Kennedy wins Saltire award". HeraldScotland. Herald and Times Group. Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  21. ^ "Literatur-Staatspreis an Britin verliehen". ORF Salzburg (Austrian Broadcasting Company). 27 July 2008. Archived from the original on 26 August 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2008.
  22. ^ Brown, Mark (23 January 2008). "Perfect Day for AL Kennedy as she takes Costa book prize". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  23. ^ "1. Internationaler Eifel-Literatur-Preis 2008 am 08.06.2008 in Bitburg". Retrieved 13 November 2016.
  24. ^ Alison Flood (13 June 2014). "Frank O'Connor prize shortlist pits 'masters' against first-timers". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  25. ^ Acceptance speech, 11.12.2016 in Düsseldorf
  26. ^ [2]
  27. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Saturday Drama, Confessions of a Medium". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  28. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – AA: America's Gift to the World". BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
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A. L. Kennedy
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