Fire & Rain
with Jan Carson and Inua Ellams
Two spectacular new voices in literature transport us into wildly magical settings. The Fire Starters (shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature) by Jan Carson is a tale of fierce familial love and sacrifice that fizzes with wonder. The Half-God of Rainfall by Inua Ellams is an epic story and lyrical exploration of pride, power and female revenge across mythologies.
Jan Carson is a writer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her first novel, Malcolm Orange Disappears, was published by Liberties Press in 2014, followed by a short story collection, Children’s Children, in 2016. Her short story ‘Settling’ was included in the anthology The Glass Shore: Short Stories by Women Writers from the North of Ireland (New Island, 2016), which won the BGEIBA Irish Book of the Year Award in 2016. Her short stories have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4 and published in journals including Storm Cellar, Banshee, Harper’s Bazaar and The Honest Ulsterman. In 2014 she was a recipient of the Arts Council NI Artist’s Career Enhancement Bursary. Website
The Fire Starters
*Shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature*
Dr Jonathan Murray fears his new-born daughter is not as harmless as she seems.
Sammy Agnew is wrestling with his dark past, and fears the violence in his blood lurks in his son, too. Read more
‘A brilliant, wry novel, fizzing with energy.’ – Barney Norris
Born in Nigeria in 1984, Inua Ellams is an internationally touring poet, playwright, performer, graphic artist & designer. He is an ambassador for the Ministry of Stories and has published four books of poetry: Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars, Thirteen Fairy Negro Tales,The Wire-Headed Heathen and #Afterhours. His first play The 14th Tale was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival and his fourth Barber Shop Chronicles sold two runs at England’s National Theatre. He is currently adapting several plays for film and television. In graphic art & design, online and in print, he tries to mix the old with the new, juxtaposing texture and pigment with flat shades of colour and vector images. He lives and works from London, where he founded the Midnight Run, a nocturnal urban excursion. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Website
The Half-God of Rainfall
There is something about Demi. When this boy is angry, rain clouds gather. When he cries, rivers burst their banks and the first time he takes a shot on a basketball court, the deities of the land take note.
His mother, Modupe, looks on with a mixture of pride and worry. From close encounters, she knows Gods often act like men: the same fragile egos, the same unpredictable fury and the same sense of entitlement to the bodies of mortals.
She will sacrifice everything to protect her son, but she knows the Gods will one day tire of sports fans, their fickle allegiances and misdirected prayers. When that moment comes, it won’t matter how special he is. Only the women in Demi’s life, the mothers, daughters and Goddesses, will stand between him and a lightning bolt.
From the award-winning poet and playwright behind Barber Shop Chronicles, The Half-God of Rainfall is an epic story and a lyrical exploration of pride, power and female revenge.
‘Ellams’ poetry gleams with a dusty, worn, deeply original beauty and he remains such wonderfully generous company’ – Metro
‘He is used to living with uncertainty, even though he is celebrated as an artist.’ – Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
Programmed in partnership with Norfolk & Norwich Festival
Box office telephone 01603 766400
Images: Jan Carson (c) Laura Conlon; Inua Ellams (c) Henry Nicholls