The State Is Your Enemy: Essays on Liberation and Racial Justice

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    James Kelman

    Publisher: PM Press

    Year: 2023

    Format: Paperback

    Size: 192 pages

    ISBN: 9781629639680

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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 the Turkish State's atrocities against the Kurds 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 citizenry 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 takedown of the State and an essential primer for revolutionaries.

What People Are Saying

“James Kelman changed my life." Douglas Stuart, author of Shuggie Bain

“Probably the most influential novelist of the post-war period.” The Times

“Kelman has the knack, maybe more than anyone since Joyce, of fixing in his writing the lyricism of ordinary people’s speech. … Pure aesthete, undaunted democrat—somehow Kelman manages to reconcile his two halves.” Esquire (London)

“The greatest British novelist of our time.” Sunday Herald

“A true original. … A real artist. … It’s now very difficult to see which of [Kelman's] peers can seriously be ranked alongside him without ironic eyebrows being raised.” Irvine Welsh, Guardian

“A writer of world stature, a 21st century Modern.” The Scotsman

“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

“The greatest living British novelist.” Amit Chaudhuri, author of A New World

“What an enviably, devilishly wonderful writer is James Kelman.” John Hawkes, author of The Blood Oranges

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.

Tags: anarchism ....... anticapitalism ....... Black Liberation ....... James Kelman ....... kurdistan ....... migration ....... policing and repression ....... racism ....... UK .......