Little Constructions

Anna Burns

An irate woman bursts into the best gun shop in the town of Tiptoe Floorboard, helps herself to a Kalashnikov rifle and sets off in a taxi on her mission of retribution. So begins this kaleidoscopic, surreal and enigmatic tale of dark deeds in a small town. At the centre of Anna Burns’s startling new novel lies the Doe clan, a closely knit family of criminals and victims whose internal conflicts and convoluted relationships propel this simultaneously funny and terrifying story. Bound together by love and loyalty, fear and secrets, the Does and other inhabitants of Tiptoe Floorboard make up an unforgettable cast of characters. In a voice that is by turns chilling and wickedly funny, the narrator documents their struggle to make and maintain connections with each other, and – weaving back and forth in time – examines what transpires when unspeakable realities, long pushed from consciousness, begin to break through. Anna Burns’s first novel ‘No Bones’ was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. This second work secures her reputation as a writer of mesmerising originality and rare talent.

Reviews of Little Constructions

  • ‘The writing is energetic, convoluted and courageous. It has a gutsy nervousness that matches the subject matter, as if there is no way to write about violence and violation other than with comedy, digression, wordplay and other peculiarities. She gets across her disgust for senseless, needless violence of the Bush/Blair/Northern Irish or merely familial kind, while being pretty damn funny about it at the same time.’ Guardian

    ‘A brilliant second novel…I can’t remember the last time I read prose so profound and so punchy, at once scattergun and forensic. It’s like the ink’s been made from gunpowder. And every line leaves a darkly sparkling residue that you won’t be able to wash off.’ Daily Telegraph

    ‘Anna Burns second novel is supremely gritty and clever, and draws the reader relentlessly into the story.’ Telegraph

    ‘An often disturbing story, “Little Constructions” is about the (mis)fortunes of the Does, a marauding clan of criminals and damaged children.’ Vogue

    ‘Another powerful second novel by Belfast-born writer, Anna Burns. Displaying the same dark bite and startling humour as her first, “Little Constructions” explodes into tangents from the opening scene of a woman storming into a small town gunshop and demanding a weapon. ‘ Irish Mail on Sunday

    ‘This is probably the antithesis of the classic holiday novel which is no bad thing in itself. Bold, funny and unrelenting.’ Sunday Business Post

    ‘At the centre of Anna Burns’ novel lies the Doe clan, a closely-knit family of criminals and victims whose internal conflicts and convoluted relationships propel this simultaneously funny and terrifying story. When unspeakable realities break through, the tale is chilling – and funny.’ Belfast Telegraph

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