Mo Said She Was Quirky

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Mo Said She Was Quirky
Author James Kelman
Publisher Hamish Hamilton
Publication date
2 August 2012 (2012-08-02)
ISBN 9780241144565

Mo Said She Was Quirky is a novel by James Kelman first published in 2012[1][2][3][4][5] This novel is Kelman's first which is set in London, and also his first to feature a female principal character.[2]


The novel is about Helen a 27-year-old Glaswegian, who lives in London and works in a casino. Helen has one daughter, Sophie, from a previous relationship, and she lives with her boyfriend Mo, whose family is from Pakistan.

At the start of the story, Helen is taking a taxi-ride home from work. She sees a homeless person walking past who she thinks is her brother Brian. The novel then follows Helen for the next 24 hours of her life.


Writing in the Guardian, Adam Mars-Jones highlights what he sees as a lack of concrete details provided in Kelman's writing, which he likens to "The semi-arid ecology of Beckett's novels".[1]

Boyd Tonkin of the Independent, writes that Helen's casino workplace is "both a metaphor for winner-takes-all metropolitan life and keenly observed real workplace". He continues, "Kelman brings gentle humour and profound compassion to his tale of getting by in an unjust time and place".[2]


  1. ^ a b Mars-Jones, Adam (12 August 2012). "Mo Said She Was Quirky by James Kelman - review". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Tonkin, Boyd (19 July 2012). "Book review: Mo Said She Was Quirky". The Independent. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Mo Said She Was Quirky". The New Yorker. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Martin, Tim (23 August 2012). "Mo Said She Was Quirky by James Kelman - Review". The Telegraph. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Clarke, Brock (20 April 2013). "'Mo Said She Was Quirky' by James Kelman". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 27 July 2013.