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A. L. Kennedy longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2016

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The latest novel by A. L. Kennedy, award-winning author, and Associate Professor at the University of Warwick, has been longlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize.

Serious Sweet takes place in the space of a single day in London, and follows two central characters: Jonathan, who’s a recently divorced civil servant and Meg, a recovering alcoholic.Serious Sweet

The two embark on an unconventional romance, after Jonathan places an advert, offering to write letters to single women, and Meg responds. Both deeply troubled and complicated characters, the reader follows them over 24 hours, in suspense as to whether Meg will stay on the wagon after a year of sobriety, and if Jonathan will overcome his anxieties and make it to the date they’ve arranged.

The novel is a sharp outward observation of modern British life, and simultaneously a deeply introspective journey into the multi-faceted minds of its protagonists.

Allan Massie comments in The Scotsman that Kennedy is “a writer of exquisite precision.”

Rebecca Abrams of The Financial Times calls Serious Sweet “a magnificent novel, showing Kennedy at the very top of her game. Ambitious in scope, daring in execution, full of dazzling aperçus and dark comedy […] as sweet as you could wish for.”

In the Evening Standard, Susannah Butter writes that the novel has “plenty of dark humour,” and that “her flair for describing feelings and relationships makes this an engaging window into the messy minds of Londoners.”

Kennedy says that she’s glad to make a positive impact with her work:

"At the moment literature finds it hard to be visible in mass culture and anything that makes it a little more visible is helpful. And I'm always happy and honoured to be part of that world of literature, which can play a key role in illuminating people's lives. I know that my life is immeasurably richer because I am a reader.”

A. L. Kennedy has written seven other novels, including: Day, which was the 2007 Costa Awards Book of the Year; All the Rage, which was shortlisted for the 2014 Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award; and So I Am Glad, the winner of the 1996 Encore Award.

Kennedy is a regular contributor to newspapers and media outlets, such as The Guardian, The Observer, and BBC.

She has also written short-story collections, non-fiction, and screenplays.

You can follow Kennedy on her personal website:

Further information contact:

Luke Walton, International Press Officer

L dot Walton dot 1 at warwick dot ac dot uk

02476 150 868

07824 540 863