by James Kelman
Incendiary and heartrending, the sixteen essays in The State Is the Enemy lay bare government brutality against the working class, immigrants, asylum-seekers, ethnic minorities, and all who are deemed of "a lower order."
Drawing parallels between atrocities committed against the Kurds by the Turkish State, and the racist police brutality, and government sanctioned murders in the UK, James Kelman shatters the myth of Western exceptionalism, revealing the universality of terror campaigns levied against the most vulnerable, and calling on a global citizenship to stand in solidarity with victims of oppression. Kelman's case against the Turkish and British governments is not just a litany of murders, or an impassioned plea--it is a cool-headed take down of the State and an essential primer for revolutionaries.
"The real reason Kelman, despite his stature and reputation, remains something of a literary outsider is not, I suspect, so much that great, radical Modernist writers aren't supposed to come from working-class Glasgow, as that great, radical Modernist writers are supposed to be dead. Dead, and wrapped up in a Penguin Classic: that's when it's safe to regret that their work was underappreciated or misunderstood (or how little they were paid) in their lifetimes. You can write what you like about Beckett or Kafka and know they're not going to come round and tell you you're talking nonsense, or confound your expectations with a new work. Kelman is still alive, still writing great books, climbing." -- James Meek, London Review of Books
"A true original... A real artist... it's now very difficult to see which of his peers can seriously be ranked alongside [Kelman] without ironic eyebrows being raised." -- Irvine Welsh, Guardian
About the Author:
James Kelman was born in Glasgow, June 1946, and left school in 1961. He began work in the printing trade then moved around, working in various jobs in various places. He was living in England when he started writing: ramblings, musings, sundry phantasmagoria. He committed to it and kept at it. In 1969 he met and married Marie Connors from South Wales. They settled in Glasgow and still live in the dump, not far from their kids and grandkids. He still plugs away at the ramblings, musings, politicking and so on, supported by the same lady.