“Everything leaves marks, even water…”
Two children watching their parents argue inside a greenhouse; an armoured boy and his troubled sister; a human statue who’s lost the ability to move; a floating six-year-old tethered to the backyard fence. The characters in Jan Carson’s debut story collection are all falling apart in their own peculiar way.
Absurdist, allegorical and disturbingly convincing, these characters are both wrongdoers and victims of another’s wrongdoing. They are people marked by life yet struggling to forge some kind of future.
Mixing Carson’s distinctive magic realist voice with a more traditional brand of Irish literary fiction, Children’s Children explores the concept of legacy and the influence of one generation upon the next. These are darkly humorous and brilliantly illuminative stories which are both heartbreaking and hopeful and gently critical of post-conflict Northern Ireland.
Stories from this collection have appeared in Banshee, The Honest Ulsterman, Storm Cellar and other journals and have been longlisted for the Sean O’Faolain Short Story Prize and nominated for the Pushcart Prize.
PRAISE FOR JAN CARSON
'Carson is a born storyteller' —The Guardian
'Sharply written and inventive, Carson's stories move effortlessly from reality to dystopia to surreal vignettes in a style that recalls the up-and-coming American authors Laura van den Berg and Diane Cook' —The Irish Times
'Belfast's most exciting and most magical writer' — The Sunday Times
'Heartbreaking in places, hilarious in others, always utterly enchanting and unforgettable. There's something so compelling about reading stories by a writer so perfectly attuned to the rhythms of life and loss and love, so alive to the depth and and richness of our seams. Jan's prose shimmers and her stories are luminous.' —Donal Ryan, author of The Spinning Heart.
'Carson often punctures the bizarre world her characters inhabit to create moments of sublime emotion. A collection of incredibly finely crafted short stories' —Totally Dublin
'Carson’s writing is wonderful, with each line delivered with beautifully poetic poise. ..she gives the reader a multitude of genuine laugh-out-load moments and brilliant one liners. '—Pure M magazine
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jan Carson is a writer and community arts development officer currently based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears was published in June 2014. In 2014 she was a recipient of the Arts Council NI Artist’s Career Enhancement Bursary.