2008 Costa Book of the Year Award
2007 Winner of the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award
Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times
has called her "a world-class fiction writer." One of Britain's most iconoclastic and highly acclaimed young writers ("If you are at all interested in contemporary fiction, this is work you must not miss" Richard Ford) twice selected as one of Granta's Best Young British Novelists, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, the Encore Award and the Saltire Scottish Book of the Year Award A. L. Kennedy now gives us a brilliant new novel about war for which she is receiving the strongest reviews of her career.
Alfie Day, RAF airman and former World War II POW, never expected to survive the war. He may not have even wanted to choosing to be a tail gunner exposed, alone and watchful for his skipper and his crew through night after night of bombing missions. Now, five years after the end of the war and more alone than ever, Alfie finds himself drawn to unearth those intense, strangely passionate days by working as an extra on a POW film. What he will discover on the set about himself, his loves and the world around him will make the war itself look simple.
Day is a superbly realized, emotionally charged, deeply affecting drama about the violence of modern life, and the intensity and courage to be found in the closeness of death. Blazing with Kennedy's characteristic virtuosity, wit and narrative invention, Day is funny and moving, wise and sad, a dazzlingly original performance from one of the most gifted writers of our time.
"While fans of military fiction will find an excellent war story in these pages, Kennedy has enhanced her plot with something better: a brutally honest yet highly sympathetic portrait of modern men damaged by events beyond their control. Recommended." Library Journal
"[O]ccasional flights of poetry can't compensate for a lack of narrative momentum....Living within Day's consciousness can be a claustrophobic reading experience." Kirkus Reviews
"Kennedy is known for her language and methodical sentence structure, and this dexterity sparkles in her narration, which includes Alfred's interior thoughts (offset in italics) as well as ingenious forays into the second person (where he's presumably talking to himself)." School Library Journal
"While the movie scenes are compelling...Kennedy shifts into top gear when she describes the war in the air....And the reader, whom Kennedy has tossed this way and that with great craft but no discernible effort, finds a welcome peace, too." The Denver Post
"How much more satisfying Day might have been if this gifted writer had chosen as her models the less eventful fictions of Samuel Beckett and Henry Green, books in which almost nothing happens and yet we find ourselves riveted by the sheer force of the language..." Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review
"[A] problematic volume, signaling both increased stylistic ambition and a disheartening downshift....Her characters, usually so vivacious and distinct, lack the quirky gravitas that makes a Kennedy novel crackle." Edward Champion, The Philadelphia Inquirer
A superb, emotionally charged drama about the violence of modern life, Day is being hailed as "a stunning read" (Daily Mail) and a "remarkable performance" (The Sunday Telegraph), by one of Britain's most highly acclaimed young writers.
About the Author
A. L. Kennedy lives in Glasgow. Her previous books include three collections of short stories, five novels, and two works of nonfiction. She has received many prizes for her work, including the Lannan Literary Award and, most recently, the Costa Book of the Year Award.