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  • Published: 4 April 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473558014
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

The Fire Starters




From a prize-winning rising star in Irish fiction comes this brilliant, dark, propulsive literary novel about fierce familial love and sacrifice.

**WINNER of the EU Prize for Literature**

'One of the most exciting and original Northern Irish writers of her generation' SUNDAY TIMES

'Gripping, affecting, surprising. I inhaled it' LISA MCINERNEY

'Captivating, intelligent and courageous' IRISH TIMES

'Spectacular. At once grittily real, wildly magical and insanely alluring - a siren-song of a novel. DONAL RYAN

'Jan Carson seems to have invented a new Belfast in this gripping, surprising, exhilarating novel. RODDY DOYLE

'A brilliant, wry novel, fizzing with energy.' BARNEY NORRIS

Dr Jonathan Murray fears his new-born daughter is not as harmless as she seems.

Sammy Agnew is wrestling with his dark past, and fears the violence in his blood lurks in his son, too.

The city is in flames and the authorities are losing control. As matters fall into frenzy, and as the lines between fantasy and truth, right and wrong, begin to blur, who will these two fathers choose to protect?

Dark, propulsive and thrillingly original, this tale of fierce familial love and sacrifice fizzes with magic and wonder.

  • Published: 4 April 2019
  • ISBN: 9781473558014
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 304

About the author

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.

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Praise for The Fire Starters

A brilliant, wry novel, fizzing with energy

Barney Norris

Spectacular . . . Dark, beautiful, at once grittily real and wildly magical. Insanely alluring.

Donal Ryan

Shimmering with wit, simmering with an incandescent rage, shot through with a seam of wild magic, The Fire Starters is a powerful, disturbing portrait of East Belfast and its people and its hope for the future. I won't be the only reader to proclaim that, in the best way possible, Jan Carson is on fire.

Lucy Caldwell

Irresistible, vivid and gripping

Caoilinn Hughes, author of THE ORCHID AND THE WASP

With her idiosyncratic blend of warm intelligence, dark humour, and magic realism, Jan Carson brings us a singular portrait of a city and its people struggling with questions of guilt, responsibility, and the limits of love.

Carys Davies

Jan Carson seems to have invented a new Belfast in this gripping, surprising, exhilarating novel.

Roddy Doyle

Both a fiercely gripping thriller and a beautifully twisted fable, The Fire Starters is an electrifying blast of Belfast Gothic: a luminous, furious vision of a city at war with itself.

Michael Hughes

Gripping, affecting, surprising. I inhaled it.

Lisa McInerney

Wow. Hypnotic, alluring, perfectly vivid.

Henrietta McKervey, author of Violet Hill

Breathtaking ... The best book I read this year

Rick O'Shea, The Book Show, RTÉ

Unusual, mystical and so sublimely written, I read it in a single sitting

Image Magazine

With a caustic wit and lyrical prose style, The Fire Starters is a rumination on fatherhood, identity, culture and place ... it marks out Carson as one of the most exciting and original Northern Irish writers of her generation

Sunday Times

Carson's playfulness delights again and again, even as she explores her city's darkest corners. Sound the siren: this novel truly burns bright

Irish Independent

Characteristically inventive, Carson throws into fresh relief the complexities of familial relationships

Vogue

Captivating, intelligent and courageous

Irish Times

A playful study of fatherhood and the still-flickering flames of the conflict in Northern Ireland . . . hugely and pleasingly reminiscent of Salman Rushdie's fabulist take on the partition of India, Midnight's Children.

Metro

One of 2019's top reads

Hot Press

The writing here is incredible - a breath-taking novel

Irish Daily Mail

A perfect mix of dark humour, magic and social commentary.

Irish Times

Blew me away with its power, anger and wit.

Joseph O'Connor, Books of the Year

A big and rambunctious novel that casts a cold satirical eye on themes such as language, culture, identity, sectarianism, and the terrifying proximity of the past

Sunday Times, 50 Greatest Irish Novels of the 21st Century

Spectacular... Dark, beautiful, at once grittily real and wildly magical, insanely alluring - a siren-song of a novel.

Donal Ryan

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