Birmingham Literature Festival: Spring Edition

 Luke Kennard reading from 'The Transition' 

Luke Kennard reading from 'The Transition' 

Luke Kennard is mercurial.

The man talks at a million miles an hour and his synapses spark at an alarming rate.

Having been dubbed an 'overachieving poet' (The Guardian, for youngest Forward Prize recipient etc etc) he has just published his debut novel The Transition - a near-future dystopia tackling the housing crisis.

He talked about it on the opening day of Birmingham Literature Festival and the conversation was pacy and revelatory, especially on the pressing issue (for writers, anyway) of how to approach dystopia when living in one.

His book should be discussed more widely. It takes on capitalism, home ownership, and the plight of a generation sorely in need of solutions.

Of course, being a novel of the times, there are no solutions, but along the way Kennard combines humour and pathos to carve out a striking exploration of our current preoccupations.

It's also a touching love story.

Do read 'The Transition' if you want a fresh take on a rapidly expanding genre.