When Kelman decided to become an author he ?wanted to write and remain a member of my own community?. His work is significant for his honest depiction of the urban working-class experience and his use of west-coast vernacular on the page. He is known for realistic portrayals of poverty and disenfranchised characters. Born in Glasgow, Kelman became involved with Philip Hobsbaum?s creative writing group alongside Alasdair Gray and Liz Lochhead in the 1970s. He went on to win the Booker Prize in 1984 for `How Late It Was, How Late?, a stream-of-consciousness novel about Sammy, who has to make his way home blind having lost his sight after a drinking binge. In 2008, he won the prestigious Saltire Society?s Book of the Year award for `Kieron Smith, Boy?.