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Looking for the Possible Dance has ratings and 18 reviews. Shovelmonkey1 said: Learn yerself Scotch Part One (With A.L Kennedy and shovelmonkey1)Gr.
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Reportedly, as she stood at an open fourth-story window preparing to jump, she heard someone on the street below singing so horribly that she decided she could not leave the world escorted by such terrible music. Subsequently, Kennedy took a writing assignment and traveled to Spain to write about the running of the bulls—and about the life and death struggles of both bulls and matadors in On Bullfighting.

In , she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Many of Kennedy's short stories reflect the inner turmoil and anguish of abusive situations. In addition, her works focus on the sense of invisibility felt by many in contemporary society, and the confusion commonly experienced when confronted with great adversity. In Night Geometry and the Garscadden Trains, the majority of the stories are narrated by women who lead unspectacular lives and who feel unappreciated and unacknowledged. In the title story, a woman whose train is cancelled returns home to find her husband in bed with another woman.

The wronged wife decides to stab him but instead cuts herself with the knife and ends up at the hospital.

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The action in the story is secondary to the thoughts and warring emotions the narrator experiences. The protagonist is a young teenage girl who, after being sexually abused by her father, runs to London and becomes a prostitute. Kennedy subsequently wrote a screenplay based on the story titled Stella Does Tricks, which was released in Kennedy further developed her themes in Indelible Acts: Stories , broadening her range by including stories narrated by both men and women, young and old.

Many of the themes Kennedy explores in her short fiction are probed further in her novels. The protagonist Margaret lacks control in her life. Her lover leaves, her father dies, she is fired from her job. Her lover returns, then is brutally and graphically murdered.

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Margaret has become a voiceless witness of her own life. Kennedy examines the reasons behind her immobility and her non-participation in guiding and structuring her existence. In contrast, So I Am Glad presents Jennifer, a woman who apparently is in complete control of her life. However, the tale reveals that when she was a child, she was forced to witness her parents' sexual relations. Jennifer's coping strategy evolves into a suppression of her emotions.

This stratagem appears to be successful until a man mysteriously materializes in her life. The man is Cyrano de Bergerac, from seventeenth-century France. Jennifer is drawn to Cyrano and begins to open up sexually and emotionally. Through her relationship with him, she learns to truly take control by expressing her feelings and sharing her emotions.

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Original Bliss features Mrs. Brindle, a character married to an abusive husband who has lost her faith in God. To fill the void in her life, she attends a lecture by a psychology professor, Edward Gluck. He too carries emotional baggage—he has an addiction to hardcore pornography.

Looking for the Possible Dance by A.L. Kennedy | lisadcwrites

The two embark on a tender relationship that heals them both. What reviewers frequently fail to mention is the extent to which the bleakness of the stories she tells is leavened by her mordant wit: The reviews for Paradise, Kennedy's latest book, have been uniformly eulogistic; it's a good place for readers wanting to sample her inimitable light-and-dark style to start. Everything You Need, the story of a writer living on an island retreat and desperate to regain contact with his estranged daughter, is her longest, most ambitious and arguably most narrative-driven novel.

Of her short story collections, Indelible Acts, "12 stories on a theme of longing", is intensely involving and frequently very funny. On Bullfighting, a non-fiction work, dissects the problematical world of the matador and offers insights into her own troubled state of mind at the time of writing. Kennedy says of herself that "I read a lot of classics when I was young, people with big language. I read a huge amount of Shakespeare, over and over". The spareness of her writing coupled with the focus on an interior life are reminiscent of Haruki Murakami, particularly his less surreal, more reflective works try Norwegian Wood.


Her dense lyricism and linguistic dexterity call to mind Salman Rushdie. If it's her rejection of the traditional storytelling furniture - coherent chronology and specifics of place - that appeals, try Lanark, by fellow Glaswegian Alasdair Gray, or Kazuo Ishiguro's The Unconsoled.

No adaptations of her novels or short stories, but she has written a number of plays for theatre and TV, including a very well-received film, Stella Does Tricks, for Channel 4, and a one-man play, The Audition, which won the Edinburgh Fringe First award.