The April Fiction Book Club will be meeting via Zoom
Monday, April 12th • 6:30 PM ET / 11:30 PM GMT via Zoom
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 is a magical writer, and Little Constructions is a firestorm of a novel, filled with a rage that feels unstoppable.”
“Little Constructions is a prayer not just for the people of Tiptoe Floorboard, but for towns just like it all over the world, scarred by violence and transformed into a place where the dead walk alongside the living, the living enfold themselves in little constructions, and the currency in which the community traffics is shame that stems from a trauma that refuses to be named.”
– Los Angeles Times
“In the narrator’s knowing, alternately wry and waggish commentary, there is more than denial, repression and toughing-it-out, though plenty of that, too. There is a glimmer of hope, a suspicion of redemption, and enough playful wit to suggest that what’s building in “Little Constructions” may well be a comic novel after all.”
– Washington Post
“Vibrant, conversational, . . . [and] funny. . . . Burns’ verve is evident from the start.”
– Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
About the Author
Anna Burns was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is the author of three novels, including Milkman and Little Constructions, and a novella Mostly Hero. She lives in East Sussex, England.