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A Disaffection is a novel written by Scottish writer James Kelman, first published in 1989 by Secker and Warburg. Set in Glasgow, it is written in the Scottish dialect in a stream of consciousness style, centering on a 29-year-old schoolteacher named Patrick Doyle. The novel won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1989, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. In 2012, it was shortlisted for the Best of the James Tait Black.[1][2]

A Disaffection
A Disaffection (Kelman novel).jpg
AuthorJames Kelman
PublisherSecker and Warburg
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages337 pp

Plot synopsisEdit

The novel, written in a stream of consciousness style using the Glasgow dialect, concerns one week in the life of 29-year-old schoolteacher Patrick Doyle. Patrick is increasingly bitter about his entire life, despite feeling quite all right with the children he is coaching. He is in love with fellow schoolteacher Alison Housten, who is already married (without kids), and who rejects his advances. Midway in the novel, Patrick discovers he is to be transferred out of his present school which (his headmaster assures him) is the result of Patrick asking for a transfer, although Patrick has no recollection of such an act. The rest of the novel concerns Patrick's visit to his parents one weekend and, on a separate day, to his married elder brother Gavin's home.


  1. ^ Russell Leadbetter (21 October 2012). "Book prize names six of the best in search for winner". Herald Scotland. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ "Authors in running for 'best of best' James Tait Black award". BBC News. 21 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.