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Harry Potter – “Some upper middle-class young magician”


Scottish author James Kelman, who won the Booker Prize in 1994 with How Late it Was, How Late, has blasted his homeland’s literature – and that means you, JK Rowling, and you, Ian Rankin.

Kelman, appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, said that if the Nobel prize for literature was awarded from Scotland, instead of Sweden, it would be given to “a writer of f****** detective fiction” or work about “some upper middle-class young magician” instead of literary fiction

I couldn’t help laughing when I read the bit about an upper middle class magician. Harry Potter is hardly Billy Casper from Kestrel for a Knave (although Harry has an owl and Billy had a kestrel for a short time). Somebody should poll the working class kids in Dundee or Aberdeen and find out what they read, or perhaps if they read. Once that wizard nonsense is over you know Harry Potter is destined for a career in middle management or the civil service with holidays in the South of France and two kids called Hannah and Henry.

Kelman might have been a bit harsh – what about folks like AL Kennedy, Alisdair Gray and Ian Banks?

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Richard Davies

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