The Holloway Arts Festival closed with a talk by A.L. Kennedy at Platform. She turned up looking comfortably uncomfortable, the uncomfortableness of someone who is used to feeling uncomfortable and doesn't mind it any more.
|I copied this photograph from her website. I hope she doesn't mind. It is a good photograph.|
I don't know what she's going to be like because I haven't read any of her books. My bias against novelists that are still alive defeated my bias in favour of people with initials instead of names: E. Nesbit, LBJ, WH Auden, AJ Raffles. I like her face though, and how she wears her hair and have decided that doing a review unprepared is brave rather than incompetent. You may disagree, but it's my blog and I'll dress up shoddiness as elán if I want too.
She starts off being funny and talking about stand-up then something shifts and she starts talking about not being able to speak clearly, how bloody difficult it is to stop mumbling, and how once as a child she got so angry that she started shouting and everyone turned round in shock because they didn't expect loudness from her; and she makes me remember being fourteen so clearly that I can see the classroom and hear my own voice shouting out louder than it had been or would be for years and how it should have felt liberating but didn't.