- Lifestyle & Sports
- 28 Mar 22
Jan Carson will read from her acclaimed novel, The Raptures, tonight at 6:30pm on the Hot Press YouTube channel.
Our ‘My Reading Of It’ series continues, with acclaimed Ballymena-born writer Jan Carson.
Carson returns with The Raptures, described by Pat Carty as "gripping, funny, sad, scary and original piece of work which marks Carson out, again, as one of the finest fiction writers on this – or any other – island."
The Raptures follows strange occurrences in a Northern Irish village in the summer holidays of 1993. First, Hannah Adger’s classmates start dying. Then, one by one, they return to haunt her. There’s a pattern to the deaths. Strange lumps cluster on the victim’s skin, they become feverish, then their organs fail. Within hours of their passing – and even before the village’s well-oiled gossip machine has begun spreading the news – they come to Hannah.
Each appears just once, flicking through magazines in the doctor’s surgery, or scrunched up in the darkness of the bathroom as Hannah gropes her way in to use the toilet. They are subtly changed: older, with a coat of nail polish here, a drop of extra confidence there. After a few words, they vanish.
Why has this plague hit Ballylack? And why is 11-year-old Hannah the one blessed with health, and cursed with strange visions?
Carson was born in the Antrim town of Ballymena. Now living in Belfast, she has spoken of her desire to give a voice to the Protestant experience in the province. Her previous novel, The Fire Starters, which won the European Union prize for literature, set a magical siren among sectarian violence in a carefully drawn Belfast.
The Raptures brings a similar mix of granular detail and uncanny happenings to Ballylack, a village whose name and religious conservatism carry more than an echo of her birthplace.
Watch Jan Carson read from The Raptures on the Hot Press YouTube channel tonight at 6:30pm:
Revisit Lisa McInerney's 'My Reading of It' performance here, featuring her novel The Rules of Revelation.
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 28 Nov 22