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Little Constructions

A Novel
Anna Burns
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.

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The darkly comic second novel from the author of the Man Booker Prize-winning Milkman, now available in the US

About the Author

Anna  Burns
Credit: Eleni Stefanou
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.
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  • “It is a rare novelist who can approach the unspeakable with restorative humor, but Burns has a gift for dismantling and reconstructing things on her own quixotic terms, as she suggests with the perfectly chosen title for this book.”New York Times
  • “Burns’s raucous, exacting modernist crime novel . . . skewers men’s incomprehension of women.”Publishers Weekly
  • “Burns has deep reserves of empathy. . . . [Little Constructions] speaks to her ability to write about violence in powerful and unconventional ways.”Kirkus Reviews
  • 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.”L.A. Times
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