Biography (Cyclopedia of World Authors, Fourth Revised Edition)
Alison Louise Kennedy is sometimes named as one of the new Scottish Renaissance writers, but she resists definition as a nationalist writer. “We [Scots] have a storytelling tradition which gives us a respect for voice; we have an alcoholic tradition which gives us a respect for confabulation,” Kennedy said at the 2001 Edinburgh Book Festival, discussing as well Scotland’s position as a “non-dominant culture” within the larger dominant British culture, but she added, “Today I would like to be international.” Writing fiction, she believes, is a both an act of faith and an act of connection.
Born in 1965, in Dundee, Scotland, daughter of a psychology professor and a remedial teacher, Kennedy attended Warwick University in England, where she earned a B.A. in drama. She experimented with acting but eventually moved into directing and writing. She has written for television, radio, and the stage and believes the discipline of performance shaped her writing style. Most of her short stories, she told an interviewer, are essentially monologues.
Following university and some nonwriting jobs (such as selling brushes door-to-door), Kennedy returned to Scotland, where she served as a community arts worker and writer-in-residence for Hamilton and East Kilbride Social Work Department and Project Ability, a special-needs arts organization. At the age of twenty-five, in 1991, she published her first short-story collection, Night Geometry and...
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