Murdo, a teenager obsessed with music, dreams of a life beyond his Scottish island home. His dad Tom has recently lost his wife and stumbles towards the future, terrified of losing control of what remains of his family life Both are in search of something as they set out on an expedition into the American South. As they travel they encounter a new world and we discover whether the hopes of youth can conquer the fears of age. Dirt Road is a major vel exploring the brevity of life, the agonising demands of love and the lure of the open road. It is also a beautiful book about the power of music and all that it can offer.
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 Prize five years later with How Late It Was, How Late, before being shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2009 and 2011.