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Jan Carson

Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. Her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears, was published in 2014 to critical acclaim, followed by a short story collection, Children’s Children (2016), and a flash fiction anthology, Postcard Stories (2017). Her work has appeared in numerous journals and on BBC Radio 3 and 4. In 2016 she won the Harper’s Bazaar short story competition and was shortlisted for the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize. She specializes in running arts projects and events with older people, especially those living with dementia. The Fire Starters is her second novel.

Genres: Literary Fiction

Jan Carson recommends
The Butchers (2020)
Ruth Gilligan
"A remarkable novel. Gilligan paints a disturbing portrait of rural Ireland which is both modern and ancient, firmly grounded in the realistic and hauntingly otherworldly."
The Wild Laughter (2020)
Caoilinn Hughes
"The Wild Laughter is a stunning piece of writing. Hughes' sentences are so well-crafted I read many of them several times and discovered fresh layers with each read. Her dialogue is razor sharp and shot through with Beckett-esque black humour. The characters are perfectly drawn. A strong and early contender for Irish novel of the year."
Here is the Beehive (2020)
Sarah Crossan
"A beautifully crafted sucker punch of a read. Sarah Crossan has always had an exquisite way with words and in this she uses poetic prose to craft an honest and oftentimes gritty exploration of two intertwined marriages, slowly unravelling. Painfully believable, passionate and occasionally heartbreaking, Here is the Beehive provides further proof that Sarah Crossan is an infinitely gifted writer. We're lucky to have her."
We Are Not in The World (2021)
Conor O'Callaghan
"A sad and stunning meditation on love, grief and long haul driving. This is a novel about distance and closeness which explores those bonds which exist between people long after they leave each other behind. O'Callaghan's prose is shot through with poetry. He has an uncanny ability to turn the seemingly insignificant into something monumental."
Hot Stew (2021)
Fiona Mozley
"Hot Stew reads like a great night out in a city that never sleeps."
Redder Days (2021)
Sue Rainsford
"Lyrical, hypnotic and provocative, I devoured Redder Days in a single, slightly furious sitting and have been haunted by it ever since."
Mother Mother (2021)
Annie Macmanus
"A brave and occasionally heartbreaking portrait of a family falling apart and the woman who's been holding them all together for far too long. Macmanus' debut novel is assured, evocative and, like her characters, full of gentle strength."
Grown Ups (2021)
Marie Aubert
"One of the best novels about singleness, siblings and approaching middle age I've ever read."
Dinner Party (2021)
Sarah Gilmartin
"Gilmartin has a forensic eye for the little moments and mumbled asides which reveal both her character's faults and strengths. She writes sharply and cleanly but always with a degree of compassion."
How to Gut a Fish (2022)
Sheila Armstrong
"Armstrong's short stories make tremendously good company, each one transported me to a place I'd never been before. Dark, devilishly well written and full of atmosphere, How to Gut a Fish is one of the most original and affecting short story collections I've read in years."

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