> Skip to content
  • Published: 1 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529111446
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $22.99

We Are Attempting to Survive Our Time

A collection of raw, brilliant, unforgettable stories, from one of our great writers

'Kennedy is a superb writer and the canniness of her observation keeps you reading' Sunday Times

Humour, fantasy, rage and despair both help and hinder the protagonists of these stories as they navigate changing circumstances, accumulating losses, moments of comprehension and tenderness. Here is the woman, hoping for a quiet day at the zoo, who finally snaps at a white man's racist tirade and vents years of fury; the micro-celebrity who practises lines for a chat show on which he'll never appear; and the woman who walks out of her honeymoon suite at midnight, perhaps for good. Unsparing in her close examination of human relationships, A. L. Kennedy proves once again why she is regarded as one of our great storytellers.

'Kennedy dissects the small intimacies of inner thoughts... Her prose is typically direct, her sentences clear-cut and yet capable of great tenderness' Observer

'An author with a proven ability to see - truly see - and whose prose can fire like gunshots across the page' New Statesman

  • Published: 1 June 2021
  • ISBN: 9781529111446
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

A.L. Kennedy

A. L. Kennedy has twice been selected as one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists and has won a host of other awards – including the Costa Book of the Year for her novel Day. She lives in Essex.

Also by A.L. Kennedy

See all

Praise for We Are Attempting to Survive Our Time

Striking, expertly constructed. Kennedy's exquisite blending of the limits of pain and courage recall Primo Levi.

Catherine Taylor, Financial Times

Each story invites the reader to enter a very particular struggle with characters who not only feel real, but whose aching vulnerability will resonate long after the moment has ended. Formidably insightful, A.L. Kennedy's latest collection.is a shrewd examination of life's defining moments.

UK Press Syndication

Connoisseurs of short stories that pack an emotional punch will find plenty to admire in this fine new collection.

Max Davidson, Mail on Sunday

[The] title and tone of [We Are Attempting to Survive Our Time] fit our current situation like a bespoke suit. Perfectly judged and moving.

Rosemary Goring, Herald Scotland

[A] dark, dangerously funny collection.

Eithne Farry, Daily Mail

AL Kennedy's seventh collection of stories is a quite astonishing.clear-eyed.masterclass in the possibilities of the short story form; comical, plangent. Words indeed for our times.

Stuart Kelly, Scotsman

AL Kennedy's latest collection of wise, funny, human short stories came at just the right time. I...emerged feeling better about the world than I had in a while... Kennedy is brilliant at subtly shifting the ground of her stories, gently rotating your perspective so that by the end you're facing in quite the other direction, not sure of how you got there. [There is] waspish intelligence at work here.

Alex Preston, Observer

Kennedy is a superb writer and the canniness of her observation keeps you reading.

Phil Baker, Sunday Times

From the brilliant AL Kennedy...a collection of unforgettable short stories about ordinary people wrestling with the lives they have been given as the world spins around them.

Katy Thompsett, Refinery29

Every story is a smasher.thrums with contemporary resonance. If you're looking to survive your time, you could do a lot worse than cling to these stories.


Quite astonishing... A masterclass in the possibilities of the short story form.


Related titles