Little Constructions by Anna Burns

Little Constructions

Anna Burns

Set in the imaginary (and surreal) Tiptoe Floorboard, the story centres on one family - the Doe clan. And what a complex lot they are surrounded by murder, suspected kidnap, rape, paranoia, retribution and rivalries. This is not a book for the fainthearted or easily shocked – the language and the narrative are extremely challenging. But you have to admire the author for being able to write with such consistency and you’ll feel a massive sense of achievement at the end.

He grabbed her, a giant grab, after a whack across the head with one hand, and a simultaneous grabbing of the hair and a pulling of her over to waist-height with the other, then a dragging, a pulling, a walking of her up to that wasteground. This hasn't been deliberate. He hadn't planned it. It had happened like magic. It was just that he's reached a certain age, and with certain people when they reach that age in the town of Tiptoe Floorboard, certain hormones take over where you suddenly realise that everybody owes you everything and that handing over everything they owe you is the very least they can do. This could be an apology, or their body, or all of their money. And you can take it, and those others, them auld dolls with their wrinkles and their white hair and their mad shopping, or this foreign woman herself, or that unfit, fat, middle-aged bus-driver who had just pulled up and who was looking at you horrified - he didn't matter, none of them mattered. You were the one who mattered. They could go do whatever they liked.
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