Little Constructions is, somehow, a madcap and comedic novel about intergenerational trauma, violence, and sexual abuse. Focusing on a sprawling crime family with only J-names, a meandering narrator lays out the history and hopes of the superstitious criminals, victims, and complicit bystanders in the town of Tiptoe Floorboard. It speaks to the skill of Anna Burns that her energetic and genuinely funny novel is so effective at illuminating these dark themes, while never making light of them. Recommended By Michelle C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The darkly comic second novel from the author of the Man Booker Prize winner Milkman, now available in the United States
In the small town of Tiptoe Floorboard, the Doe clan, a close-knit family of criminals and victims, has the run of the place. Yet there are signs that patriarch John Doe's reign may be coming to an end. When Jetty Doe breaks into a gun store and makes off with a Kalashnikov, the stage is set for a violent confrontation. But while Jetty is making her way across town in a taxi, an elusive, chatty narrator takes us on a wild journey, zooming in and out on various members of the Doe clan with long, digressive riffs that chase down the causes and repercussions of Jetty's act.
Before Milkman took the world by storm after winning the Man Booker Prize, Anna Burns had already honed her distinctive voice. In her second novel, Little Constructions, she exhibits the same linguistic brio, coruscating wit, and scintillating insight into men, women, and the roots of violence. A wickedly funny novel that swoops and spirals as it examines the long shadow of abuse and violent crime, Little Constructions explores what transpires when unspeakable realities, long hidden from view, can no longer be denied.
"Burns has deep reserves of empathy. . . . [Little Constructions] speaks to her ability to write about violence in powerful and unconventional ways." Kirkus Reviews
"Belfast native Burns's raucous, exacting modernist crime novel (after the Booker Prize-winning Milkman) skewers men's incomprehension of women....Burns's fans will find much to chew on." Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Anna Burns was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is the author of three novels, including Milkman and No Bones, and a novella Mostly Hero. She lives in East Sussex, England.