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Family and the Scottish Working-Class Novel 1984-1994

A study of novels by Janice Galloway, Alasdair Gray, Robin Jenkins, James Kelman, A. L. Kennedy, William McIlvanney, Agnes Owens, Alan Spence and George Friel


Horst Prillinger

‘They fuck you up, your mum and dad,’ the poet Philip Larkin wrote a few decades ago. Sometimes more, sometimes less explicitly, Scottish authors of the past twenty years have written down their point of view on the state of the working-class family. This study deals with nineteen novels written between 1984 and 1994 and two precursors written about ten years earlier. Following the family sociologists’ model of the family life cycle, the study examines the vital stages of family life in novels spanning four generations of Scottish writers, from Robin Jenkins (b. 1912) to A. L. Kennedy (b. 1965).
Contents: Man Meets Woman – Sex – Family Life – Children at War – Escapes from the Family – Imagined Families – Disintegration – Death – Conclusion: Family Statistics for Scotland.