BOV (Fiction) A. L. Kennedy So I Am Glad

ISBN 13: 9780099457213

So I Am Glad

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9780099457213: So I Am Glad

She made her American debut last year to glowing reviews with her acclaimed short novel Original Bliss ("A world-class fiction writer"  --Thomas Lynch, New York Times Book Review; "Like no other book . . . Erotic and funny . . . A high-wire act"  --Daphne Merkin, The New Yorker). Now, in her first full-length novel to appear in this country, the prize-winning Scottish novelist A. L. Kennedy returns to the themes of isolation, emotional destitution and love with an ambitious, darkly funny book -- part love story, part ghost story -- that confirms her place as one of the most brilliantly inventive writers of her generation.

Jennifer Wilson is by vocation a disembodied voice, a radio announcer hiding from her life in a job that perfectly suits her constitution by allowing her to remain audible but invisible, protected by an invincible wall of anonymity. Then one day a new boarder appears at the house she shares in Glasgow, a stranger who she discovers is -- preposterously, impossibly -- Cyrano de Bergerac back from the dead. With terrific wit and compassion, Kennedy's novel tracks their painful movement towards connection, the progress of an improbable but deeply passionate love affair between a lost soul wandering the world trying to remember who he is -- longing to be a hero, longing to be known -- and a comically self-protected young woman who is equally unable to inhabit her own life, unable to feel anything at all, until she surrenders herself to the apparition of a great love.

Once again, A. L. Kennedy has created an unforgettable world, not so unlike our own, populated by heroic misfits who are unwittingly drawn into exhilarating, terrifying adventures that require all their bravery and love. So I Am Glad -- awarded three prizes in Scotland -- is sure to delight fans old and new.

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Review:

There is no other word to describe what A.L. Kennedy does with her fiction than alchemy. How else to explain a novel like Original Bliss, which combined the basest of materials--an abused and depressed Glasgow housewife and a pornography-addicted professor--and conjured up literary gold? In So I Am Glad Kennedy does it again, rendering a remarkable love story out of two characters who, on the face of it, are not terribly lovable. Jennifer, for example, is a young woman who lacks what most people have: "whole hordes of feelings, all barrelling round inside them like tireless moles."

As I write this, I can see extremely clearly that nothing terribly bad has ever happened to me. I can't recall a single moment of damage that could have turned me out to be who I am today. I can dig down as deep as there is to dig inside me and there truly is nothing there, not a squeak. For no good reason, no reason at all, I am empty. I don't have any moles.
Jennifer, however, turns out to be a less than reliable narrator when it comes to the facts of her own life. Her parents, for example, had the damaging hobby of making her watch them have sex when she was a child. And now she has a few sexual quirks of her own, chief among them a taste for inflicting pain on her partners. If Jennifer is hardly the stuff of romantic fiction, neither is the man who drops suddenly and quite literally into her life: Martin, a sweating, frightened amnesiac who eventually claims he is Savinien Cyrano de Bergerac.

From this rather outlandish premise, Kennedy builds an intricate tale of mad love, bad love--and in the end, the love that heals all wounds. Is Savinien insane? A ghost? The literal resurrection of a long-dead French writer? Not even he seems to know for sure. As for why he's here now: "I must have been a catastrophe--He made me come back." And certainly Savinien has as many bad qualities as Jennifer--a killer in his past life, a drug addict in this one. And yet only in each other can these two damaged people find their salvation. What makes this story work is Kennedy's quirky humor and stunning prose style combined with a wholly original point of view. She can be every bit as tough as fellow Scottish writers Irvine Welsh or Duncan McLean, but she has a surprising tenderness, as well, investing even the most brutal moments with humanity and a frisson of wonder. --Alix Wilber

From the Back Cover:

"Captivating.... Funny, mysterious and so original that it is easy to suspend disbelief."
--Chicago Tribune

"A love story that’s highly imaginative and surprisingly poignant...yet amusingly ironic in tone."
--The New York Times Book Review

"Kennedy...writes with passion and directness, taking risks that would leave other writers squirming."
--San Francisco Chronicle

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Jennifer M. Wilson has decided to become a voice. A professional enunciator, an announcer, a voice-over artist, she has retreated into a world of words. Behind the sound-proof double doors of the recording studio she must surely be safe from the painful inconveniences of hate and love. Until reality breaks in and Jennifer uncovers the harsh vocabulary of addiction and the addictive extremes of sex. -An alchemical romance, a Swiftian satire for our times, an impossible spiritual journey and a devastating plummet into insanity and perversion, So I Am Glad is oblique, incisive, hilarious and horrific. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099457213

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Jennifer M. Wilson has decided to become a voice. A professional enunciator, an announcer, a voice-over artist, she has retreated into a world of words. Behind the sound-proof double doors of the recording studio she must surely be safe from the painful inconveniences of hate and love. Until reality breaks in and Jennifer uncovers the harsh vocabulary of addiction and the addictive extremes of sex. -An alchemical romance, a Swiftian satire for our times, an impossible spiritual journey and a devastating plummet into insanity and perversion, So I Am Glad is oblique, incisive, hilarious and horrific. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099457213

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Book Description Vintage. Book Condition: New. 1996. New Ed. Paperback. Jennifer M. Wilson has decided to become a voice, a professional enunciator, an announcer, a voice-over artiste. Behind the sound-proof doors of the recording studio she must surely be safe from the painful inconveniences of hate and love. Until reality breaks in. Num Pages: 288 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 128 x 20. Weight in Grams: 212. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099457213

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Book Description Vintage, 1996. Book Condition: New. 1996. New Ed. Paperback. Jennifer M. Wilson has decided to become a voice, a professional enunciator, an announcer, a voice-over artiste. Behind the sound-proof doors of the recording studio she must surely be safe from the painful inconveniences of hate and love. Until reality breaks in. Num Pages: 288 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 198 x 128 x 20. Weight in Grams: 212. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099457213

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, So I am Glad, A. L. Kennedy, Jennifer M. Wilson has decided to become a voice. A professional enunciator, an announcer, a voice-over artist, she has retreated into a world of words. Behind the sound-proof double doors of the recording studio she must surely be safe from the painful inconveniences of hate and love. Until reality breaks in and Jennifer uncovers the harsh vocabulary of addiction and the addictive extremes of sex. -An alchemical romance, a Swiftian satire for our times, an impossible spiritual journey and a devastating plummet into insanity and perversion, So I Am Glad is oblique, incisive, hilarious and horrific. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099457213

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