From one of Ireland s most grindingly authentic and radically original talents, Room Little Darker explores the clandestine aspects of modern life through jagged, visceral tales of wanton sex, broken relationships, homelessness and futuristic nightmares. An abusive father haunts his daughter and wife from the confines of a nursing home; a couple with an appetite for kink discover their escapades have led them into something unimaginably grim; an addict makes his way around a city centre crackling with menace; an unborn child narrates her own tragic story; a paedophile acquires a sex therapy robot and wonders how they'll get along. At once hilarious and profoundly moving, June Caldwell's stories probe raw sexuality and disturbing psychology, the love (and hate) of family, the darkness and light that lives inside us all.
You ve probably never read about contemporary Ireland quite like this ... Strong, salty, swaggering new voice in Irish fiction ... A bitches brew of anger, spiky rage and deft humour ... All told, Caldwell has more in common with the likes of Irivine Welsh or Hubert Selby Jr than any of her homegrown contemporaries, but this is writing that does not lend itself easily to categorisation or comparison. --Irish Independent
Savagely inventive, full-throttle snapshots of the creepy, pitiable world it seems we all now have to live in. If the ghost of Angela Carter and a hungover George Saunders ever got together, they might turn out tales as full of the righteous ire and strychnine wit as these uproarious stories. --Colin Barrett
Caldwell s linguistic verve is what keeps you paying attention, fascinated and appalled... The book amounts to an unsparing portrait of a city and a nation, with a singular voice heard throughout, lost in grief and longing, interrogating every motive and intention. It is banshee bold...A work more attentive to and understanding of the terrible derangements of simply being alive I have not read in a long time. --The Guardian
‘The roar of fury and clarity that Irish fiction has been needing. You haven’t read anything like this before . . . Just brilliant.’ – Belinda McKeon
‘There is a seriously charged imagination at work here . . . Caldwell brings a dangerous new voltage to the Irish short story.’ – Mike McCormack
‘June Caldwell’s writing is audacious, wicked and profoundly funny; her prose cracks and sizzles. These stories are literary electrical storms.’ - Nuala O’Connor
‘Caldwell’s first collection is a mark-maker … This is an unflinching collection which thuds with life and kicks with horror.’ – The Sunday Times
‘Caldwell’s stories are ferocious beasts, kicking and screaming in rabid, frothing rage…although there are moments of tenderness, too…If you like your fiction raw and angry, smeared in bodily fluids – and solids – then Room Little Darker is for you.’ – Sunday Independent
‘A remarkable collection, and unlike anything you will have read from her Irish peers…Room Little Darker heralds a major new Irish literary talent. Caldwell is a savage, audacious and brilliant new female voice.’ – Hot Press
‘There is no better writer of soul-stopping, confrontational prose working in the English language today.’ – The London Economic
About the Author
June Caldwell worked for many years as a journalist and now writes fiction. Her story SOMAT was published in the award-winning anthology The Long Gaze Back, edited by Sinéad Gleeson and was chosen as a favourite by The Sunday Times. She is a prizewinner of the Moth International Short Story Prize and has been shortlisted for many others, including the Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, the Colm Toíbín International Short Story Award, the Lorian Hemingway Prize, and the Sunday Business Post/Penguin Ireland Short Story Prize. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Queen's University Belfast, and lives in Dublin.