Malcolm Orange Disappears


Malcolm Orange Disappears


‘A born storyteller, [Carson’s] narratives are uncontainable, fizzing up out of her pages like soda and vinegar in a bottle.’

‘At its best, Malcolm Orange Disappears reminds the reader of Kurt Vonnegut and other masters of the absurd – Carson can be very, very funny. All of Carson’s touches of magic realism are perfectly judged. This fresh, humane and charming debut novel bursts with ideas and verve.’
Sunday Business Post

"A highly original book; very quirky"
Irish Examiner

‘Like all the best story tellers, Carson retains our attention throughout. She weaves her unhurried, meandering narrative from a mixture of hilarity, tenderness and near-perfect descriptive fluency."‘
—Totally Dublin 

‘This is a wonderful, warm and brave first novel.’

‘An incredibly creative and unusual novel. Malcolm is disappearing, his body full of strange absences, and into these holes Carson pours stories, rich and vibrant.’

‘Jan Carson's first novel fizzes with life and detail and the taste of another world.’

Eleven-year-old Malcolm Orange has grown up in the back seat of an ancient Volvo station wagon, crisscrossing America with a diminishing collection of grandparents, one good-for-nothing father, an increasingly absent mother, and an unfortunately ordinary brother.

Their journey ends abruptly in a pay-by-the-week motel in Portland, Oregon when his father finally abandons the family. Impoverished and alone, the remaining Oranges find themselves living in Chalet 13 of the Baptist Retirement Village.

While his mother develops her own strange means of coping with the loss, Malcolm begins to disappear, becoming more perforated each morning – until there is little of the original Malcolm left. Desperate for a cure, he enlists the help of Soren James Blue, her talking cat Mr Fluff, and the very elderly members of the People’s Committee for Remembering Songs.

Malcolm and his friends set off on a hilarious and heartbreaking adventure to discover a cure for disappearing. On the way, they encounter the flying children of Oklahoma, the dastardly plans of Dr Blue and all the sinister secrets hiding behind the doors of his Treatment Room. As Malcolm wages a youthful war on his own small losses, each of his elderly friends must learn how to accept their own peculiar disappearing act. Malcolm Orange Disappears is an unforgettable story bursting with heart, imagination, tenderness and humour: a supremely confident debut. 

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts development officer based in Belfast. She is the current recipient of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s Artists’ Career Enhancement scholarship. Malcolm Orange Disappears is her first novel.

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