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EVENT | An evening with Ballymena author Jan Carson

Waterstones book shop in Ballymena is hosting a special evening with highly-acclaimed local author Jan Carson, and tickets for the free event are available to book now.

Jan Carson, who herself is from Ballymena, recently released her latest work The Raptures, and has won raving reviews from all quarters.

'Absolutely MAGNIFICENT: dark, witty, charming. I LOVED it.' MARIAN KEYES 'Original, terrifying, hilarious and memorable.' SUNDAY TIMES IRELAND 'An Agatha Christie-esque whodunnit, a dark supernatural mystery and an account of mass trauma...meticulously observed.' GUARDIAN

THE STORY | When several children from the same village start succumbing to a mysterious illness, the quest to discover the cause has devastating and extraordinary consequences. It is late June in Ballylack. Hannah Adger anticipates eight long weeks' reprieve from school, but when her classmate Ross succumbs to a violent and mysterious illness, it marks the beginning of a summer like no other. As others fall ill, questions about what - or who - is responsible pitch the village into conflict and fearful disarray. Hannah is haunted by guilt as she remains healthy while her friends are struck down. Isolated and afraid, she prays for help.

Elsewhere in the village, tempers simmer, panic escalates and long-buried secrets threaten to emerge. Bursting with Carson's trademark wit, profound empathy and soaring imagination, The Raptures explores how tragedy can unite a small community - and tear it apart. At its heart is the extraordinary resilience of one young girl. As the world crumbles around her, she must find the courage to be different in a place where conforming feels like the only option available.


JAN | Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in Belfast. She specializes in running arts projects and events with older people, especially those living with dementia.

'One of the most exciting and original Northern Irish writers of her generation' SUNDAY TIMES

The Raptures is Jan’s third novel amid other works of short stories, with her outstanding writing featuring in journals and on BBC Radio. The Ballymena woman’s first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears, was published in 2014 to critical acclaim. Her second novel, The Fire Starters (2019), won the EU Prize for Literature and was shortlisted for the Dalkey Novel of the Year Award. She has won the Harper's Bazaar short-story competition and has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award and the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize.


THE EVENT | Join Jan on Thursday evening (24 February) at Waterstones in the Fairhill Shopping Centre, Ballymena, at 7pm. Jan will be reading and chatting about her latest novel, as well as signing copies.

The event is free but registration is necessary as space is limited.


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