Their lives and family torn apart by loss and grief, music-obsessed teenager Murdo and his father Tom set out on a road trip through the American South in attempt to heal the wounds they can’t discuss. Murdo longs for an adventure and a chance to experience a new life beyond his Scottish island home, while Tom lives in fear of losing what little he has left of his family and his pride. The trip will force them to confront their hopes and worries for the future, and their feelings about a past which both binds them together and drives them apart.
Partly inspired by Kelman’s own travel around the United States as a young man, Dirt Road will appeal to fans of Cormac McCarthy, Jim Crace, Marilynne Robinson, Raymond Carver and JM Coetzee. A film adaptation directed by Kenneth Glenaan is slated for release in 2017.
About the author
James Kelman was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1989 with A Disaffection, which also won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction. He went on to win the Booker five years later with How Late it Was, How Late, before being shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2009 and 2011.