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Room Little Darker

Room Little Darker
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  • Room Little Darker by June Caldwell


Please note that Room Little Darker is now published by Head of Zeus. Copies are available from all good bookshops and online here

‘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

‘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

‘June Caldwell’s writing is audacious, wicked and profoundly funny; her prose cracks and sizzles. These stories are literary electrical storms.’

– Nuala O’Connor

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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.


‘Caldwell’s linguistic verve is what keeps you paying attention, fascinated and appalled…Caldwell forever has her eye on language, stalking it everywhere, through the demotic, the street slang and on towards the realms of the sinister sublime…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

‘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

‘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

‘If these stories are dark, they are also linguistically dextrous. The writing is full of surprises, bold and yet reined in, being bereft of platitudes and the consoling comfort of white lies. This startling debut will linger long in the memory.’ – Sunday Business Post

‘Caldwell never lets her readers stand on easy ground, and the stories shift delightfully, moving and writhing in unpredictable, electrically charged directions…For all its swagger and guts, there is a tender humanity at the heart of this collection, a deep understanding of pain, and a righteous fury – these stories matter, they demand to be told, and to be read.’ – Totally Dublin 

‘a book that’s as graphic, confrontational and daring as they come (but funny on top of it, so don’t worry)…Caldwell’s cities, particularly Dublin, are manic: her streets are filthy, sexy and bloody, and her characters hold nothing back. But there’s a bawdy humour alongside the politics and the horror: she’s not writing polemics or entertainment pieces – her characters and their situations, however apparently extreme, ring true, which means the stories carry a weight that isn’t to be underestimated: she’s a writer to watch…a madly impressive debut.’ – Bookmunch

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.



June Caldwell


C-Format, PB





Release Date

June 2017

Additional Information

Weight .389 g
Dimensions .215 × .135 × .15 mm


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